MELBOURNE, Florida — Florida Governor Rick Scott announced that Embraer S.A. will open an aircraft assembly plant and related facilities at Melbourne International Airport for its twin-engine Legacy 500 and Legacy 450 executive jets. But according to the Governor’s Office, “The decision by Embraer to create jobs in Florida is contingent on the final approval of a partnership between the company, state and local officials.”
Governor Scott made the announcement at Melbourne International Airport where he was joined by several local Brevard County politicians and CEO of Embraer South America Frederico Curado, President of Embraer Holdings Gary Spulak, and President of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC) Lynda Weatherman.
“I’m proud to announce that even more Floridians are going to be able to find great jobs and live the American Dream right here in the Sunshine State,” Governor Scott said. “With the creation of over 365,000 jobs in two-and-a-half years, and our state’s unemployment rate below the national average, it’s important that we remain focused on continuing Florida’s economic momentum. I would like to thank everyone involved in this important project.”
“Embraer has consistently recognized the competitive advantages that Brevard County holds,” said Andy Anderson, District 5 Commissioner and Chairman of the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners. “From our talented workforce to the quality of life we all enjoy, the Space Coast has it all, and we are thrilled that the company will now be utilizing those and other Brevard County assets as it helps grow our economy and our community.”
According to the EDC, the new project will create 600 jobs and 250,000 square feet to Embraer’s operations on the Space Coast, which include the company’s customer center and Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 assembly plant and paint facility.
“Embraer now employs over 260 workers in Melbourne, of which more than 230 employees — or approximately 90% — were hired locally,” Embraer Jets Communications Manager Daniel R. Bachmann wrote in an email to Brevard Times. “The Company recently relocated over 30 employees from other Embraer U.S. locations, further expanding our employee base in Brevard County.”
Additionally, Embraer’s Engineering and Technology Center is scheduled to open in the second half of 2014 at the airport and will employ about 200 engineers once fully staffed.
The expansion announced today is fueled by a strong U.S. market for Embraer jets and an outstanding partnership among a variety of state and local stakeholders, said Embraer President and Chief Executive Officer Frederico Fleury Curado.
“Both Embraer and our customers are very satisfied with the success of our Phenom assembly facility and global customer center located at Melbourne airport,” he said. “In partnership with Governor Rick Scott, Enterprise Florida, the City of Melbourne, the Melbourne Airport Authority, Brevard County, Space Florida, Enterprise Florida, the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, and Brevard Workforce, we are ready to take the next step here by expanding the operation to include the assembly of the Legacy 450/500 to address the needs of our largest market.”
“More than five years after Embraer and the EDC began working together on what would become the company’s first-ever North American final assembly plant at Melbourne International Airport, I am delighted to congratulate Frederico and his outstanding team on yet another important endeavor that further deepens the company’s connections to the Space Coast,” Weatherman said.
“The Legacy 500 and Legacy 450 business jets embody the advanced thinking that is Embraer’s hallmark and they will fit perfectly into the Space Coast’s rich heritage of building cutting-edge aircraft that transport passengers on their important journeys, whether across the country or into the cosmos,” she said.
According to Embraer, the Legacy 500 is the first midsize business jet incorporating a fly-by-wire control system and full six-foot, stand-up cabin with a flat floor. It has the largest cabin in its class and provides the comfort and incorporates the technology found only in larger, more expensive aircraft. The Legacy 500 will enter service in the first half of 2014, followed by the Legacy 450 one year later.
“We are thrilled that Embraer has chosen our great city and its international airport for its new Legacy aircraft assembly facility,” Melbourne Mayor Kathy Meehan added. “We look forward to our continued business partnership with Embraer and watching as its next exciting chapter unfolds.”
“Melbourne International Airport first partnered with Embraer in 2008 – two visionary organizations wisely investing in the Space Coast. Embraer’s doubling of its investment just five years later reflects its confidence in a bright future for the airport and the region,” said Harry Goode, Melbourne Airport Authority Board chairman.
Embraer projects that construction of the new facility will commence in 2014, and the first Legacy 500 to be delivered from the facility is scheduled for 2016.