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by Gale Bray
on Wednesday, December 15th, 2010 at 9:06pm.
MELBOURNE, FL (Dec. 15, 2010) — Midair S.A., an international aviation company headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, announced today the location of a major U.S. aircraft maintenance operation at Melbourne International Airport.
Midair S.A. projects the 180,000-square-foot facility will have a work force of 300 to 450 within three years with average annual wages of $45,564. The $28 million facility will include two hangar bays designed to accommodate Boeing 747-400 aircraft for interior reconfigurations, as well as extensive maintenance, repair, painting and overhaul functions. The site will be operated by subsidiary MidairUSA Inc. of Rome, N.Y.
During the planning and negotiating process, the airport designated MidairUSA as “Project Aries”.
“The location of MidairUSA is another milestone in our long-range goal of making Melbourne International a key economic driver in the Brevard County economy,” said airport Executive Director Richard A. Ennis. “The addition of Midair to our growing list of aviation tenants reflects that the airport is rapidly becoming one of the major centers of aviation commerce in the United States.”
MidairUSA joins a number of other aviation manufacturing and maintenance tenants at the airport including Northrop Grumman, Embraer, AAR Aviation Worldwide Services, Rockwell Collins and Liberty Aerospace.
“We worked closely on this project with Enterprise Florida and the Melbourne International Airport and look forward to welcoming MidairUSA to the Space Coast,” said Lynda Weatherman, president & CEO of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast. “Midair’s location on the Space Coast will further solidify our strength in the aerospace and aviation industry.”
MidairUSA’s decision to locate in Melbourne comes on the heels of the airport landing AAR, which announced in November it would bring 225 jobs with an average salary of $65,000. The newcomers will bring a combined annual payroll of more than $35 million to the Space Coast economy.
Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer will begin operating its Phenom business jet assembly and showroom facilities at the airport next year. It will add 200 new jobs and a $10 million payroll.
MidairUSA will begin operations almost immediately, with the first Boeing 747 scheduled to arrive for maintenance in early February. Temporary facilities will be constructed on the northwest apron adjacent to General Aviation Drive, and operations will continue there while a permanent hangar facility is built on an adjacent site during the next 18 months.
Key executives in making the location decision include Michael H. Davis, managing director of Midair S.A., and William Moore, president of MidairUSA.
“This decision to locate at MLB was the result of a major cooperative effort on the part of the State of Florida and the local community,” said Larry Wuensch, the airport’s director of land development.
Wuensch added that the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, Enterprise Florida, Congressman Bill Posey, State Senator Mike Haridopolos and State Representative Thad Altman, Space Florida, Brevard Workforce Development Board, the City of Melbourne and local banks were some of the key players to encourage MidairUSA to make such a significant investment in the Space Coast.
Wuensch also thanked site-selection consultant VJS Lincoln of Pewaukee, Wis., for its work in selecting Melbourne. VJS will serve as the design builder for the project.
“The competition among communities in Florida and other states was intense, and we are understandably delighted to have emerged the winner,” Wuensch said. “It is a great Christmas present!”
Melbourne International Airport serves east Central Florida, including Brevard and Indian River counties, and is responsible for generating more than $1 billion per year in economic activity. The airport, which has three runways and a 200,000-square-foot terminal, currently serves Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection, Direct Air, US Airways, Baer Air and AirGate Aviation. For more information, visit www.mlbair.com.
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Posted on Thursday, December 16th, 2010 at 1:17am.