By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- A local aviation company will open an aircraft assembly plant and related facilities at the Melbourne International Airport, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced on Tuesday, Oct. 29.
The Brazilian jet maker, Embraer S.A., is expected to open the new facility by the second half of next year and will employ about 200 engineers, as well as other jobs throughout the facilities.
The expansion will build twin-engine Legacy 500 and Legacy 450 executive jets.
The legacy 500 is a midsize executive jet with a 6-foot flat-floor cabin. Eight club seats may be berthed into four beds for rest in a cabin altitude at 6,000 feet, as well as the inclusion of the latest in-flight entertainment, communications and connectivity systems.
The Legacy 450 shares the same cabin cross-section as the Legacy 500, and allows four clubs seats to be berthed into two beds.
At the announcement ceremony held at the Melbourne International Airport, Gov. Scott and the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast praised the impact of job creation efforts in Brevard County, as well as the state of Florida.
"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," Gov. Scott said in a press statement. "With the creation of more than 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."
Lynda Weatherman, president and CEO of the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast, praised the relationship between Embraer and the Space Coast.
"Embraer and the Space Coast are a perfect fit, and the EDC applauds the company for choosing to locate its Legacy 500 and Legacy 450 assembly plant and related facilities here, alongside its growing Melbourne campus," she said. "Our workforce, our tax climate, our low-cost business environment -- the list of the competitive advantages on the Space Coast is almost as long as the list of technological advances contained in a Legacy jet."
Ms. Weatherman also praised the efforts by the EDC and local partners to make this expansion a reality.
"Thanks to the hard work and forward thinking of the EDC and our key state and local partners, we will welcome 600 new jobs to Brevard County," she said. "(We will also welcome) the deep and lasting effect they will have on our economy, as the spending from these salaries, this construction and more ripples through the community."