Embraer opened its 40,000 square foot hanger manufacturing facility at Jacksonville Florida International Airport where the company will assemble the aircraft for the U.S. Air Force’s Light Air Support program.
The U.S. Air Force awarded the LAS contract to Embraer and its prime contractor Sierra Nevada Corporation to supply 20 Embraer A-29 Super Tucano aircraft, as well as ground training devices, pilot and maintenance training and logistic support. The initial 20 aircraft will be used to provide light air support, reconnaissance and training capabilities to the Afghanistan military. The facility in Jacksonville will perform pre-equipping, mechanical assembly, structural assembly, systems installation and testing, and flight testing of A-29 aircraft.
“Today, we mark another achievement in Embraer’s growing presence in the United States and the State of Florida, not only with our expansion in Jacksonville, but also with our first participation in a contract to supply high tech equipment and services to the USAF. We are honored with this opportunity and ready to get to work” said Fred Curado, Embraer S.A. President and CEO.
“With this manufacturing facility, Embraer will create 50 new jobs for Jacksonville families, which is great news. Thanks to our business friendly strategy of keeping taxes low, making targeted investments and supporting education, these 50 new jobs will build on the more than 280,000 private sector jobs that have been created in the last two years,” said Gov. Rick Scott.
With its U.S. headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale, the Jacksonville site joins recent expansion of the company’s operations in Melbourne, Florida. With the support of the state of Florida, the City of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Airport Authority, efforts already have begun to prepare the facility for industrial operations.
“Embraer’s success in Jacksonville speaks volumes about the direction of our economy and our city’s role as one of America’s most military-friendly cities,” said Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown. “This project promotes economic security at home and global security for all. I’m proud of the teamwork that helped to make it happen and I look forward to working with Embraer for many years to come.”
“I know many of the leaders at Embraer, and they have created an outstanding global aviation company in both the commercial and military business sectors,” said JAX Chamber interim president and CEO and JAXUSA Partnership president Jerry Mallot. “I am excited to be here today to celebrate the opening of an Embraer facility in Jacksonville and the creation of new jobs for our region.”