Major expansion will add 200 high-paying jobs to the Space Coast

MELBOURNE, Fla. (March 21, 2012) —Brazilian aviation giant Embraer unveiled today plans to add a $24 million engineering center to its operations at Melbourne International Airport.

Already home to Embraer’s only North American aircraft assembly facility and global customer center, Embraer’s operations at the airport will grow to include work related to the design, certification and production of the company’s aircraft.

“This new engineering center solidifies Embraer’s presence on the Space Coast and continues the momentum to make Melbourne International Airport the hub of Embraer’s North American operations,” said Richard A. Ennis, airport executive director.

The 63,500-square-foot center will be built on a 13.2-acre site on the north side of General Aviation Drive at a cost of $24,205,000, including construction and equipment. When fully operational, the center is expected to employ 200 people with an average salary of $70,000.

“This new facility will create the right jobs at the right time,” Ennis said. “These are aerospace engineering jobs, and there is no question that Embraer is acting now to tap into the talent pool idled by the end of NASA’s shuttle program.”

A team of Florida and Space Coast officials aggressively pursued Embraer to land the engineering center and put together an impressive incentive package over the course of about six months.

Incentives offered by the airport include renovating and making available a temporary facility at the airport rent free for up to 18 months while the new engineering center is being constructed. Renovations to the 25,000-square-foot building formerly used by Northrop Grumman will cost about $240,000. The incentives were offered so that Embraer can expedite its hiring of engineering staff.

“The airport’s contributions are significant, but I can’t stress enough that this was very much a team effort,” Ennis said.

The team included representatives of Gov. Rick Scott’s office, Space Florida, Enterprise Florida, the Brevard County legislative delegation, the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, Brevard County, City of Melbourne, Workforce Brevard and the airport.

The engineering center also strengthens the airport’s position as a major economic engine for the Space Coast. With the new Embraer facility, the airport will have participated in providing the location for more than 1,000 jobs to the region in the past four years, with combined annual salaries of more than $60 million and capital investments in new construction topping $125 million.

“Without a doubt, the airport continues to be a hotbed of job creation on the Space Coast just when it is needed most,” Ennis said.

About Melbourne International Airport

Melbourne International Airport serves east Central Florida, including Brevard and Indian River counties, and is responsible for generating more than $1 billion per year in economic activity. It is among the nation’s fastest-growing aviation manufacturing and maintenance hubs, and is the closest international airport to Port Canaveral, one of the world’s busiest cruise ports. Led by Executive Director Richard A. Ennis and Melbourne Airport Authority Board Chairman Harry Goode, the airport operates three runways, a 200,000-square-foot terminal and offers multiple FBOs. Melbourne International Airport is home to more than 75 tenant businesses including Northrop Grumman, General Electric, Rockwell Collins, LiveTV, Embraer and Harris Corp. The airport currently serves Delta Air Lines and its affiliates, US Airways and Baer Air. For more information, visit