Italico Aviatio, an Italy-based airplane manufacturer, will invest $3.2 million to open a light sports aircraft manufacturing facility at Kissimmee, Florida’s Gateway Airport, with plans to hire up to 55 employees in four years.
The firm’s US headquarters in Kissimmee will also be home to its research and development division, as well as its sales and distribution center for the Americas. Each of the FX1 two-seater propeller planes built will cost around $100,000, and will be able to land on water. The company expects to build 500 planes a year.
“We are excited to begin manufacturing in the United States,” said Eros Spinozzi, president of Italico Aviation USA. “The Kissimmee location is perfect as it offers us access to everything we need from a great workforce, strategic location, a tremendous customer base and most importantly the Florida sunshine that enables us to showcase our planes year round.”
“We share great pride in Italico’s decision to expand their operation here,” said Kissimmee Mayor Jim Swan. “It is a testament that Kissimmee and Osceola County are great places for international companies to start, expand and continue to prosper.”
“Italico’s choice to locate in Florida reflects our ability to help international firms achieve their business goals through the partnerships, resources and talent the state offers,” said Florida Secretary of Commerce Gray Swoope, who serves as president and CEO of Enterprise Florida Inc., the state’s lead economic development organization. “We welcome Italico to Florida’s business community and look forward to the new opportunities the company will bring to our citizens.”
The City of Kissimmee was helped in this project by Enterprise Florida Inc., Osceola County, and the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission. As an incentive, Italico Aviation USA received approval for a $550,000 incentive package from the state in the form of a Qualified Target Industry tax refund. The city also approved a property tax abatement for a total incentive package of about $842,000.
“As the nation’s busiest tourism destination it is no surprise that aviation companies are attracted to Metro Orlando,” said Rick Weddle, president and CEO of the Metro Orlando EDC. “Our low-tax environment, expedited permitting processes and incentives are also attractors for the manufacturing industry.”