Raytheon Missile Systems expansion

Raytheon has completed one new building at its site near the airport and is planning to build several more.

The Tucson Airport Authority has approved a new lease for Raytheon Missile Systems that adds about 39 acres of vacant land to its current plant footprint adjacent to the airport.

The land, between East Aero Park Boulevard and East Hermans Road along Old Nogales Highway, will be added to Raytheon’s existing leasehold of 231 acres of airport-owned land via a new lease or an amendment to the company’s existing lease.

The plan was unanimously approved by the airport authority’s governing board at a special meeting on Wednesday.

Raytheon requested the additional space “for further facility construction,” documents prepared for the TAA board said.

The company had no immediate comment.

Raytheon, the region’s biggest private employer with more than 10,000 local workers, has already finished one new building and is working on several others as part of a major expansion of its airport site.

The agreement sets the land lease rate at fair market value of 20 cents per square foot, the same as the current lease, and will initially raise Raytheon’s annual rent by about $340,000, according to the proposal approved by the board.

Raytheon’s existing lease, which consolidated some older leases and added 21 acres of land, became effective in July 2017 and has an initial term of 30 years with two 15-year extension options.

The new lease would have the same terms, including a requirement that Raytheon invest a minimum amount in new facilities on the leased property and that any facilities left on the property at the end of the lease revert to the airport.

Under the most recent lease, Raytheon committed to additional capital investment of $137 million to support an expansion expected to add at least 1,900 jobs over a decade, airport officials said.

In other action, the TAA board approved a proposal to accelerate a planned $800,000 project to develop parcels along Aero Park Boulevard, citing increased revenues and lower operational costs.

The board also OK’d spending $700,000 on a project to turn the former international departures area on Concourse B into a new area for charter-flight operators.

Contact senior reporter David Wichner at dwichner@tucson.com or 573-4181. On Twitter: @dwichner. On Facebook: Facebook.com/DailyStarBiz

Senior reporter covering business and technology for the Arizona Daily Star/Tucson.com