Embraer Breaks Ground on Florida Phenom Facility

 - December 4, 2008, 10:52 AM

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and local leaders joined Embraer executives this morning to break ground on the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer’s $50 million Phenom 100/300 assembly and completions facility at Melbourne International Airport. “Today’s groundbreaking celebrates a milestone for Embraer by launching its first U.S. assembly plant devoted to the executive jet business,” noted Embraer president and CEO Frederico Curado. The 149,500-sq-ft facility, scheduled to be operational in 2010, will be able to assemble a mix of up to 96 Phenom 100 very light jets and Phenom 300 light jets annually. According to the company, the Melbourne facility will complement Embraer’s Phenom final assembly and completions complex in Gavião Peixoto, Brazil, which will also produce about 100 Phenoms per year. The new facility will house a customer design center for all Embraer executive jets, complete with fabric samples and full-scale mockups. Embraer’s U.S. headquarters will remain in Fort Lauderdale. The combined Phenom order book consists of nearly 850 airplanes, two-thirds of which are Phenom 100s. According to Curado, certification of the Phenom 100 is just “days away”; Phenom 300 approval is now slated for late next year.