Piper Aircraft Will Still Call Florida Home

 - May 29, 2008, 11:41 AM

Piper Aircraft yesterday afternoon made it official that the aircraft manufacturer is staying put in Vero Beach, Fla., following a two-year site-selection process that pitted Vero against Albuquerque, N.M., and Oklahoma City. Piper president and CEO James Bass and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist jointly made the announcement before the company’s 1,200 workers, who enthusiastically cheered the decision to stay in Indian River County. “We pledge to make this county our home,” Bass told the employees gathered in Hangar 21. “This agreement will allow Piper to make major investments in our Vero Beach facilities.” Crist said Florida is “business friendly” and can compete in the global economy. Under the agreement, Piper receives a $32 million incentive package from the state and county–to be paid out over three years–in exchange for making a commitment to remain and grow in Indian River County. Bass told AIN that Piper’s decision to remain in Vero “was a squeaker; it was by no means a slam dunk.”