Embraer Expands Melbourne Facility

** Embraer celebrated the maiden flight of the
first Phenom 100 built at its Melbourne facility
last Dec. Embraer will build its new Engineering
and Technology Center adjacent to the
Phenom assembly plant.**

Embraer's newly opened facility in Melbourne, Florida, is already about to expand. The Embraer Engineering and Technology Center, a 67,000-square-foot aviation research, development and design center, will be built adjacent to Embraer's 80,000-square-foot Phenom assembly plant and 58,000-square-foot customer center, both of which opened last year.

Construction on the new facility will begin immediately and is expected to be complete sometime next year. Initially, work at the facility will focus on interior design for Embraer’s ever expanding line of business jets. Interior design materials will be tested in a new laboratory at the facility. Eventually, the center will also include research and development for new technologies and products.

Approximately 200 workers, primarily engineers, will be employed at the Engineering and Technology Center. Some engineers will be hired right away and they will be based in temporary offices in the existing Melbourne facility until they move into the new facility sometime this fall. With the shutdown of NASA’s shuttle program, there should be plenty of skilled workers available in the area. Embraer also plans to partner with educational institutions to provide fresh eyes on the research and development programs.

Embraer also released its 2011 financial results, which revealed a net loss of $91.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. The company said the loss was due to adjustments in the American Airlines fleet as a result of the bankruptcy of its parent company AMR Corp. However, Embraer hit its targets in 2011 with $5.8 billion in revenues and a net income of $111.6 million.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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