EDC announces Aerion Supersonic selects Space Coast for $300M global HQ, manufacturing facility, 675 jobs

A Message from the EDC

The last time the Space Coast faced overwhelming economic adversity, we fought back to become one of the best-performing communities in Florida and the nation, developing a state-leading manufacturing sector and the second-most-industry-diversified economy in Florida.

This did not happen by accident. It was a successful strategy developed by the EDC to replace thousands of lost jobs that were primarily centered around one program with new high-wage jobs created by a wide-variety of companies whose decision-makers would increasingly be based in Brevard County. This was accomplished with the knowledge that when the next economic downturn hit, the local economy would be in a far stronger position to weather the storm.

The COVID-19 pandemic presents a challenge the likes of which few in living memory have faced. It threatens our workforce, our businesses and our way of life. To have such calamity strike just when we were poised for seemingly bigger and better things is especially dismaying, but I believe the wisdom of our strategy is as valid as ever.

It is for these reasons and more I am excited to share this news with you today. Aerion Supersonic will construct a new state-of-the-art campus – Aerion Park – in Melbourne, Florida. Aerion Park will form a new global headquarters and integrated campus for research, design, build and maintenance of the company’s supersonic aircraft. The new project represents a multi-year $300 million investment that is expected to generate at least 675 jobs in Florida by 2026.

The EDC coordinated with state and local partners, managing the competitive response to the request for proposals, including the targeting of a $3.9 million Florida Job Growth Grant for infrastructure improvements at Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB). Team partners included Enterprise Florida, Space Florida, the Orlando Melbourne International Airport, Brevard County and the City of Melbourne.

The EDC officers: Joe Mayer, Julie Song, Bart Gaetjens, Kirk Hall, Dana Kilborne, Executive Committee, Board of Directors and Investors, along with the Brevard County Commission and the people of the Space Coast should be proud of all we accomplished together. I want to thank Aerion Chairman, President and CEO Tom Vice and Governor Ron DeSantis for everything they did to make this project move forward in strong headwinds. It is a giant vote of confidence in the economic future of Brevard County.

On behalf of the community, I would like to welcome Aerion Supersonic to the Space Coast.

Please see the following news release for more details.
Thank you,

Lynda L. Weatherman

EDC News Release

SPACE COAST, Fla. (April 24, 2020) – The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC) today announced a new state-of-the-art campus – Aerion Park – in Melbourne, Florida. Aerion Park will form a new global headquarters and integrated campus for research, design, build and maintenance of the company’s supersonic aircraft. The new project represents a multi-year $300 million investment that is expected to generate at least 675 jobs in Florida by 2026.

The EDC coordinated with state and local partners, managing the competitive response to the request for proposals, including the targeting of a $3.9 million Florida Job Growth Grant for infrastructure improvements at Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB). Team partners included Enterprise Florida, Space Florida, the Orlando Melbourne International Airport, Brevard County and the City of Melbourne.

“Brevard County is home to the pioneers of space exploration and now the pioneers of sustainable supersonic transportation.” said EDC President and CEO Lynda L. Weatherman. “Aerion Park raises the profile of Florida’s Space Coast as the premier site for the most innovative aerospace companies in the world and is an example of what can be accomplished, even in the most challenging times, when the EDC and its state and local partners work together.”

“The Space Coast has become a hub for the aviation and aerospace industry, and my administration continues to make it a priority to expand this high-wage and important business sector,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We are thrilled that Aerion has selected Melbourne for its new global headquarters and look forward to the company’s success.”

“We are building the next generation of high-speed transportation networks that will revolutionize global mobility without leaving a carbon footprint on our world,” said Aerion Chairman, President & CEO Tom Vice. “Our AS2 business jet – the world’s first privately built supersonic aircraft – is the first stage in that exciting endeavor. Having evaluated a number of potential locations for our new home, we are excited to partner with Florida and the Melbourne community to create a sustainable supersonic future.”

“Governor DeSantis, Space Florida, the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, and private industry are actively taking steps to help our community recover from a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic,” said Chair of the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners Bryan A. Lober, Esq. “One of the earliest such steps is the introduction of an estimated 675 high-wage jobs to Brevard County in crafting the Aerion AS2 supersonic business jet, which will help solidify not only our economy, but also our reputation as the world’s preeminent location for the aerospace industry.”

“I am very excited Aerion Park will be in District 5. The EDC’s and Brevard County’s successful strategy to diversify and expand manufacturing jobs on the Space Coast continues to gain momentum despite the current crisis,” said Brevard County Commissioner and EDC Executive Committee Member Kristine Isnardi. “The high-tech, high-wage jobs created by this project will help other sectors recover when our economy reopens.”

“We are incredibly honored and thrilled to bring this news to our community at a time when it’s needed the most,” said Executive Director at Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB) Greg Donovan, A.A.E. “We are proud to be the location of the future where Aerion will innovate, create and introduce new technologies and products to the aviation industry worldwide.”

“We are overjoyed to be a partner in fostering a new era of aviation by assisting in Aerion’s decision to locate within the City of Melbourne. Aerion’s business venture to manufacture supersonic business jets in Melbourne reinforces the Space Coast’s national reputation as an aerospace industry leader,” said Mayor of the City of Melbourne Kathy Meehan. “The City of Melbourne is also proud to collaborate with Governor DeSantis, Space Florida, Orlando-Melbourne International Airport, and the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast to bring in $300 million of new investment and more than 600 high paying jobs to our community over the next six years.”

Aerion will break ground on the new campus later this year ahead of manufacturing of the AS2 business jet commencing in 2023. In addition to the 675 new jobs Aerion will bring to the state, Aerion Park is expected to attract key aerospace suppliers within the supersonic technology ecosystem to bring business to Florida, creating additional roles for scientists, designers, engineers and aircraft builders.

For more information, go to www.AerionSupersonic.com

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About the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast
The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC) is dedicated to attracting new business and investment and expanding existing industry throughout the Space Coast, influencing change on government laws and regulations affecting economic development, promoting the Space Coast to encourage new investment, supporting efforts of Space Coast military installations, and relaying new programs and procedures to assist manufacturing and high-tech companies. The EDC is a private, not-for-profit coalition whose stakeholders are business leaders committed to the economic growth and stability of Florida’s Space Coast. Visit www.SpaceCoastEDC.org.