May Open Facility
aircraft manufacturer is
negotiating with Melbourne International Airport officials to lease
nearly 24,000 square feet of space starting in January.
Comp Air Aviation LLC, an affiliate of
Merritt Island-based Comp Air Inc., is scheduled to announce its
likely plans for building a single-engine turboprop airplane at
Melbourne International during the annual meeting and convention of
the National Business Aviation Association today in Orlando.
The project would
create 50 jobs initially as the company works to obtain the
necessary accreditation by the Federal Aviation Administration to
sell the $2.95 million aircraft, known as the Comp Air 12, on a
widespread basis, according to Bill Fedorko, Comp Air's chief
If the company's
ambitious assembly plan takes off and it ends up building 100 planes
a year, the creation of 2,000 jobs by 2012 is a possibility, Fedorko
said in a
The six- to 10-seat
airplane is currently under development, and company executives
estimate that it will cost $150 million to get it certified by the
third quarter of 2010. The Comp Air 12 uses a single Honeywell
turbine engine and a 5-blade McCauley propeller. A prototype took
flight earlier this year.
Fedorko said target
markets for the plane are the U.S., Russia, China and India.
"There is incredible
demand for luxury executive aircraft in those regions," he said in a
If Comp Air opts for
the Melbourne site -- its decision is contingent on state and local
incentives, according to the news release -- it will be another coup
for the burgeoning aviation industry here.
"This would be yet
another major development for Melbourne International Airport and
would certainly fuel already heightened interest by suppliers and
other aviation-support companies to become part of our fast-growing
manufacturing base here," said Richard Ennis, executive director at
"It also reinforces
the role of the airport as a leading economic engine for Brevard
County," Ennis added.
In May, Embraer
Aircraft Holding Inc. said it selected the airport for a $41 million
assembly and showroom for its Brazilian-made jets. That project is
expected to create at least 200 jobs.
The 14 acres Comp
Air is considering leasing at Melbourne International are off
General Aviation Drive on the airport's north side.
Last week in
Aviation International News, a monthly trade publication, Ron Lueck,
Comp Air's chief executive officer, said he wanted to make the move
to Melbourne by January 1.
Comp Air, which
currently lists its business address as 900 Airport Road on Merritt
Island, would lease space in a Florida Tech hangar until it moves
into a new facility.
Price at (321) 242-3658 or