Pondering Move, Piper Narrows Choices to Three

 - June 26, 2007, 10:49 AM

In May, Piper Aircraft confirmed that it was looking for suitable sites to relocate the company’s headquarters and to establish PiperJet manufacturing. A significant factor in the move is insurance costs, which have risen tenfold due to hurricanes. “Insurance in Florida is skyrocketing,” said a Piper spokesman. “We’re immediately facing a disadvantage that our competitors don’t have.” On June 22, a Piper statement said that the company has narrowed the choices to three cities: the existing headquarters location in Vero Beach, Fla.; growing aircraft manufacturing center Albuquerque, N.M.; and Oklahoma City. Columbia, S.C., and Tallahassee, Fla., were removed from the running because both areas lacked, according to Piper, “a more established aviation sector and a ready workforce of employees with the skills required to meet our needs.” The spokesman did not say when Piper management will make its decision. “We want to make sure we take the right amount of time,” he said.