New Legacy line of executive jets grows airport’s aviation manufacturing profile
MELBOURNE, Fla. (Oct. 29, 2013) — Embraer, the world’s third largest aircraft manufacturer, announced plans to assemble its new line of business jets at Melbourne International Airport, effectively doubling the size of its operations here.
The new assembly operations for the twin-engine Legacy 500/450 business jets will create 600 new jobs and add 250,000 square feet to Embraer’s airport campus.
At a ceremony announcing the expansion, Embraer President and CEO Frederico Curado described the new aircraft as winner.
“We are not talking about something which is theoretical,” he said. “We are talking about something that’s a winner.”
The aircraft will be FAA certified next year, Curado said and predicted it will be the “best in class” just like the Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 executive jets assemble in Melbourne.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, joined by airport officials, lawmakers, economic development officials and Embraer officials, made the formal announcement at a 3 p.m. news conference.
Curado said the expansion reflects Embraer’s long-term commitment to the U.S., Florida and Melbourne.
“Some 50 percent of our executive jet deliveries go to the U.S. and more than 60 percent of the aircraft content comes from U.S. suppliers and industrial partners, so this is a natural step forward to the benefit of our customers,” he said.
Embraer currently employs about 260 people at the airport in its Phenom assembly plant and Embraer’s worldwide customer center. A previously announced Engineering and Technology Center, currently under construction and set to open next year, is expected to employ 200.
Airport officials echoed Curado’s sentiments on the aircraft builder’s long-term commitment to the region.
“Melbourne International Airport first partnered with Embraer in 2008 – two visionary organizations wisely investing in the Space Coast,” said Harry Goode, Melbourne Airport Authority Board chairman. “Embraer’s doubling of its investment just five years later reflects its confidence in a bright future for the airport and the region.”
“Today’s announcement by Embraer affirms our place as one of world’s fastest-growing aviation and aerospace manufacturing and maintenance hubs,” added Richard A. Ennis, MLB executive director. “By the time this project is completed, the international markets will certainly be aware of Embraer’s commitment to Melbourne, and MLB’s commitment to international business.”
About Melbourne International Airport
Melbourne International Airport serves east Central Florida, including Brevard and Indian River counties, and is responsible for generating more than $1 billion per year in economic activity. It is among the nation’s fastest-growing aviation manufacturing and maintenance hubs, and is the closest international airport to Port Canaveral, one of the world’s busiest cruise ports. Led by Executive Director Richard A. Ennis and Melbourne Airport Authority Board Chairman Harry Goode, the airport operates three runways, a 200,000-square-foot terminal and offers multiple FBOs. Melbourne International Airport is home to more than 75 tenant businesses including Northrop Grumman, General Electric, Rockwell Collins, LiveTV, Embraer and Harris Corp. The airport currently serves Delta Air Lines and its affiliates, US Airways and Baer Air. For more information, visit www.mlbair.com.
Lori Booker, APR
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