Cirrus Aircraft will expand into Tennessee with its new $15 million Cirrus Customer Experience Center, called the Vision Center, at McGhee Tyson Airport in Blount County, Tennessee. The new location is expected to create 170 jobs in the Knoxville area.
The the new hub facility will become the flagship location for all Cirrus Aircraft pilot, owner and customer activities including sales, delivery, training, maintenance, support, personalization, fixed base operations and more for all Cirrus airplanes including the Vision SF50 single-engine personal jet, scheduled for certification in late 2015.
“The Vision Center is the next step in our goal to reimagine general aviation and the flying experience at Cirrus Aircraft,” Cirrus Aircraft Co-Founder/CEO Dale Klapmeier said. “We call that aviation experience ‘The Cirrus Life’ and with the Vision Center in Knoxville, we are bringing together transformational new airplanes with a reinvented customer and ownership experience, all led by the forward thinking leadership team that is unique to Cirrus Aircraft.”
The selection of the Knoxville/Alcoa area for the home of the Vision Center was the result of a detailed site evaluation process that initially included more than 15 states and 30 on-airport locations, state economic development officials said. McGhee Tyson Airport rose to the top with its combination of convenient location to the installed Cirrus owner base in North America, unique airport and area amenities, favorable weather and a welcoming community for Cirrus Aircraft employees and their families. Todd Simmons, Cirrus Aircraft Chief Customer Officer, will lead the Cirrus aircraft team at the new home for all Cirrus Aircraft customer activities and operations.
The Vision Center will be the location for factory direct type rating training from Cirrus Aircraft. A key component of the SF50 training curriculum at the Vision Center will be a Level D, full-motion flight simulator currently under development at CAE, the world’s premier simulator and flight training device provider. This full flight simulator, along with several other fixed training devices, will be the cornerstone of Vision SF50 type rating and annual recurrent training. Other key Vision Center partners will be announced closer to facility completion, currently slated for second quarter of 2016.
In addition to factory direct training, the Vision Center will allow customers to experience the Cirrus Aircraft brand in multiple ways. A factory service center will provide support for the new Vision SF50 and more than 6,000 SR aircraft currently in the field. A design center will allow customers to personalize both new and current Cirrus aircraft, providing individualization opportunities fueled by imagination. Including training, these are just a few of the components that the Vision Center will allow pilots, owners and enthusiasts the opportunity to experience ‘The Cirrus Life’.
"Cirrus Aircraft’s decision to invest in McGhee Tyson Airport is a resounding vote of confidence in our region and for the state of Tennessee,” Chairman of the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority’s Board of Commissioners Howard Vogel said. “We are proud to have been selected as the site for their business expansion and we look forward to welcoming Cirrus and their aircraft owners to East Tennessee.”
“Cirrus Aircraft will feel right at home here as a company that sets the standard for innovation in its industry, and we want to thank Cirrus for bringing its new customer experience facility to East Tennessee,” Governor Bill Haslam said.