Safari Enterprises, a helicopter manufacturer, will relocate its headquarters and manufacturing operations from Florida to Lafayette, Tennessee. The company will invest $7.5 million and create 85 jobs over the next five years in Macon County.
According to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, as phase one of the relocation, the company will build a 16,000-square-foot facility at the Lafayette Municipal Airport. Phase two will include construction of additional buildings to accommodate for future growth. The company manufactures and sells “home build” helicopter manufacturing kits for aviation enthusiasts with an in-house build option for those uncomfortable with the building process.
“There were multiple factors in our decision to move to Lafayette. I have to say, it was the incredible assistance from TNECD and the genuine welcome we received from the mayor and city council in Lafayette that clinched the deal. We can’t wait to open the hangar doors this summer,” Abe Gaskins, co-owner, Safari Enterprises noted.
“Safari Helicopter’s decision to relocate its headquarters from Florida to Tennessee and create new family-wage jobs in Lafayette is a huge win for Macon County and the entire Upper Cumberland region,” TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe added.
Headquartered in Hendersonville, Tennessee, Safari Enterprises, LLC, known as Safari Helicopter, is an American kit aircraft manufacturer.
“TVA and Tri-County Electric Membership Corporation congratulate Safari Helicopter on its decision to locate operations in Macon County. Helping to support job creation and investment in our region is at the core of TVA’s mission of service. We are proud to partner with Tennessee Central Economic Authority, Macon County and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to further that mission and support companies, like Safari Helicopter’s business success in the Valley,” John Bradley, TVA senior vice president of Economic Development said.