GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – The deal with Boom Technologies is now officially complete.
The name “Boom Supersonic” first was uttered officially by Guilford County Commission Chair Melvin “Skip” Alston during a public hearing on Wednesday morning, but Greensboro and state officials quickly followed suit in approving incentives to lure Boom, a Denver-based developer of a supersonic transport jet, to Piedmont Triad International Airport.
The NC Department of Commerce Economic Development Committee approved grants of more than $100 million, including nearly $97 million in a Job Development Investment Grant and $4.7 million from community colleges. Guilford County and Greensboro earlier approved incentives the state calculated to be worth another $27.5 million.
The bid for Boom, which state officials said beat out Jacksonville, Florida, and Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina, calls for the company to invest $500 million to build it flagship construction facility for the next generation supersonic jet. The facility at PTI will provide customer delivery and service on the jets.
Boom has agreed to an employee base of 1,761 jobs that will pay a minimum annual average of $68,792, the state’s presentation said., during a 5-year period from 2026 to 2030. The incentives have an option to be extended for another 20 years.
State officials estimate that the company by 2045 will contribute $32.3 billion to the state’s gross domestic product and will contribute $1.7 billion in state revenue.
Guilford County commissioners unanimously approved incentives of approximately $12.1 million. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Brent Christiansen pushed for higher incentives and said in the meeting that he had been working on this project since April.
The Greensboro City Council in a brief meeting earlier today unanimously OKd incentives not to exceed $1500 per job for Boom.
Gov. Roy Cooper, NC Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders, state Senate Leader Phil Berger, NC House Speaker Tim Moore and a host of dignitaries will attend the official announcement at PTI this afternoon to celebrate the final details of what had been called “Project Thunderbird.”
Boom, founded in 2014 by CEO Blake Scholl, a former Groupon executive, rolled out its XB-1 supersonic jet in October 2020 and is planning to build an Overture jet, which the company says would transport 60 or more passengers from New York to London in about three and a half hours. Boom also promises to fly around the world and to do so on sustainable fuels rather than petroleum-based products.
Boom is under contract to deliver jets to United Airlines, and the company’s timeline calls for its first jets in the air by about 2025 and then be fully launched by 2029. The company is privately held but has drawn significant investment and recently signed a contract with the U.S. Air Force.
PTI Executive Director Kevin Baker said that there are 1,000 acres in various stages of development on the north side of I-73 that is “ready for multiple users.”
“We have sections from 100 to 200 acres that are ready to go,” he said. “Any project that comes around will depend on where it goes and the needs to finalize it.”
The parcel is connected by a taxiway constructed across I-73 – “It needs to be paved,” Baker said – and the legislature’s appropriation directs $15 million for site work at the airport, $35 million for roadwork through the NC Department of Transportation and $56.75 million for the airport to use “for the construction of one or more new hangars.”