March 19, 2013
AERO News Network
Embraer Aircraft Holding, Inc. has signed a 10-year lease on a 40,000-square-foot hangar in which the A-29 Super Tucano aircraft for the U.S. Air Force Light Air Support (LAS) program will be assembled. Preparation of the facility is currently underway. The LAS aircraft are urgently needed to support the successful withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown welcomed Embraer to the city. “I'm excited for this economic milestone as Embraer's A-29 production facility becomes Jacksonville's first full-scale aircraft assembly operation,” said Mayor Brown. “Not only does this show confidence in our workforce, it expands Jacksonville's role as one of America's most military and veteran-friendly cities. I commend Embraer for embracing these values and I look forward to a long, productive relationship.”
“We have been looking forward to the day that we can officially establish our presence in Jacksonville and we are ready to get to work,” said Gary Spulak, President of Embraer Aircraft Holding, Inc. “This important step is the first of many that will solidify the new partnership we have created between Embraer and the Jacksonville community.”
With the support of the state of Florida, the City of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, the facility at the Jacksonville International Airport already is undergoing modifications. The facility will perform pre-equipping, mechanical assembly, structural assembly, systems installation and testing, and flight testing of A-29 aircraft. “A great team came together to make a solid case for building this plane in Northeast Florida, resulting in a 'win - win' for the First Coast economy and our national defense,” said Congressman Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), who represents Florida’s 4th congressional district. “The addition of this facility underscores Jacksonville as a military aviation center of excellence.”
“We are proud to host production of this important aircraft,” said Steve Grossman, executive director of the Jacksonville Aviation Authority. “This brings economic investment and good jobs to the area.”
“This is a wonderful example of insourcing and exactly what our region and our nation need more of. This facility will create high-wage jobs and represents millions in economic investment. Production of the aircraft will draw upon U.S. suppliers from across the country, supporting many more American jobs,” said Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-FL), who represents Florida’s 5th congressional district.
Embraer has had its U.S. headquarters in Ft. Lauderdale for more than 30 years and currently employs more than 1,200 people in the United States. The Jacksonville site joins recent expansion of the company’s operations in Florida. In 2011, Embraer opened a production facility for its Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 jets and a Global Customer Center in Melbourne, and in 2012, the company broke ground on a new Engineering and Technology Center, also in Melbourne, that will employ 200 engineers. Some 1,400 additional jobs will be supported through the LAS contract.
As the aircraft selected for the LAS program, the A-29 Super Tucano will be used to provide light air support, reconnaissance and training capabilities to the Afghanistan military. As such, it is a vital element of the United States’ Afghan withdrawal strategy and central to maintaining security in that region going forward. The LAS program also will provide the United States and other partner nations with important capabilities for agile, flexible, economical, new-generation multi-role airpower.