Embraer Opens Florida Phenom Assembly Plant

 - February 22, 2011, 8:19 AM

Embraer inaugurated its first U.S. aircraft final assembly plant at Melbourne (Fla.) International Airport yesterday. The new 150,000-sq-ft plant and paint shop facility is dedicated to manufacturing Phenom 100 and 300 light jets, but initially will produce only the former since the backlog for Phenom 100s is bigger. According to Embraer president and CEO Frederico Fleury Curado, the grand opening “is a landmark for Embraer, as we fulfill our goal of bringing operations closer to our customers and to our largest market.” Embraer announced the selection of Melbourne in May 2008 and broke ground for the $50 million facility in December that year. The manufacturing plant is currently empty, but the company will soon start to install tooling. Some 200 people will be employed at the new Melbourne complex. The Brazilian aircraft manufacturer is also building an adjacent customer center, where customers from around the world will come to select their interiors for all Embraer executive jet models. This center, slated for completion in November, will also be used for executive deliveries for North American and European customers. Embraer plans to deliver the first U.S.-built Phenom 100 in the fourth quarter.