Embraer intends to expand its Melbourne, Florida, factory to include an assembly line for the Legacy 450 and 500 midsize fly-by-wire business jets currently in development. While the details of the expansion still need to be approved by local and state officials, the Brazilian jet maker said it hopes to open the new facility as soon as 2016 and add 600 new jobs within five years of opening the center.
An Embraer representative told Flying that the approval is expected within six months and that plans call for construction to begin next year. Embraer plans to invest $28 million in tooling, equipment and materials for the new facility. The planned expansion includes 236,000 square feet to be added to the 138,000-square-foot facility Embraer currently uses for a global customer center and an assembly line and paint facility for the Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 light business jets. A 74,000-square-foot center for engineering and technology is also in the works.
Plans are for more than half of the new facility to house the Legacy 450/500 assembly line, with a capacity of six airplanes per month. The remainder of the expansion will include a paint facility, a completion center and flight prep facility, and a delivery center.
“Both Embraer and our customers are very satisfied with the success of our Phenom assembly facility and global customer center located at Melbourne airport,” said Embraer president and CEO Federico Fleury Curado. “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.”
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