With joint venture Boeing Brasil Commercial (BBC) expected to assume its regional jet production facilities in São José dos Campos, production of Embraer’s Legacy 450/500 and Praetor 500/600 will move to Gavião Peixoto, the Brazilian airframer announced late last week. Completions, final flight-test operations, and delivery of Embraer’s midsize business jets will then be consolidated at the company’s Melbourne, Florida facility, it added.
The Gavião Peixoto site was begun in 2001 in answer to limited space in São José dos Campos. It was picked for access to transportation, sunny climate, and the flat terrain needed for Embraer to build a runway for tests, which at 15,400 feet long and 312 feet wide is the largest paved runway in the Americas. Gavião Peixoto already houses manufacturing facilities for Embraer’s Super Tucano light attack airplane and KC-390 military transport, as well as two paint shops, a business jet cabinet shop, and a service center capable of handling all Embraer products.
All heavy manufacturing of business jets will continue to take place in Brazil, a company spokesman assured, with the Praetors flying to Melbourne for finishing. At a meeting for small manufacturers in São José in April, outgoing Embraer president Paulo César de Souza e Silva told a supplier asking if they should open a Florida subsidiary, "Don't. Business jet manufacturing will remain in Brazil."