Embraer to add airplane seat plant in Florida expansion
By Irene Klotz
MELBOURNE, Fla., June 15 (Reuters) - Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer SA will build an airplane seat manufacturing plant in Titusville, Florida, expanding its facilities in the region hit hard by the shutdown of NASA's space shuttle program four years ago, officials said on Monday.
The facility, due to open in second half of 2016, will be run by a California-based company which Embraer has acquired and renamed Embraer Aero Seating Technologies.
Located just west of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Central Florida, the new plant will manufacture high-end seats for Embraer's Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 business jets, which are assembled in nearby Melbourne, Florida, company spokeswoman Alyssa Ten Eyck said.
Embraer is in the process of a related $76 million expansion to assemble its Legacy 450 and Legacy 500 business aircraft in Melbourne as well. The expansion is due to be finished in late 2016.
The company also established an engineering and technology center in Melbourne and a customer design center in 2014.
About 400 of Embraer's 800 Florida employees work in Melbourne. Embraer expects to add another 850 jobs in Central Florida, including 600 at the Legacy assembly plant, also in Melbourne, 150 at the Titusville seat manufacturing plant facility and about 100 more engineering positions in Melbourne.
"Embraer's footprint in Florida continues to grow," Florida Governor Rick Scott said in a statement.
The new Embraer facility will be located at the Brevard County-owned Spaceport Commerce Park in Titusville.
The North Brevard Economic Development Zone offered $2.5 million to offset construction costs and agreed to clear and prepare about 15 acres of land. (Reporting by Irene Klotz; Editing by Alwyn Scott and Richard Chang)
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