Embraer Cuts Ribbon at Melbourne Factory

The new assembly facility will put finishing touches on Phenoms.

Embraer's new 90,000-sq.-ft. assembly
facility in Melbourne, Florida. Embraer cut
the ribbon on the plant last Monday.

On Monday morning, Embraer entertained dignitaries and members of the press as it officially cut the ribbon on its $50 million, 90,000-square-foot assembly facility, where it will put the finishing touches on its Phenom 100 entry-level light jet and Phenom 300 super light jet. Embraer now builds, assembles and completes both airplanes in Brazil, where it will continue to build most Phenom subassemblies. The company will ship subassemblies via boat to Florida for final assembly and completion — the paint shop is expected to be finished in March. The Customer Center will be home for the delivery process not just for Phenoms but for Legacy and Lineage executive jets, as well. North American sales will also be relocated to Melbourne from Fort Lauderdale, where Embraer has its North American headquarters. The company plans to employ approximately 200 workers at the Melbourne facility initially. Embraer hopes to complete 30 airplanes in Melbourne next year and for that figure to grow depending on how corporate jet sales rebound. The Phenom 300 won a 2010 Flying Editor's Choice award. To read our flight report on the airplane, click here.