On Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Aerion Supersonic will construct a new state-of-the-art campus – Aerion Park – in Melbourne.
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 involves a multi-year $300 million investment that is expected to generate at least 675 jobs in Florida by 2026.
“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 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 Tom Vice, Aerion’s chairman, president and CEO. “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.”
Over the past decade, Florida’s Space Coast executed a successful strategy to diversify its economy to drive high-wage job creation. Brevard County now leads Florida in manufacturing job growth and is increasingly home to headquarters for some of the most innovative companies in aerospace.
“Today’s announcement is great news for Brevard County,” said state Secretary of Commerce Jamal Sowell, the president and CEO of Enterprise Florida. “Florida’s strong talent pipeline and low tax business climate continue to make it top of mind for businesses looking to relocate. We look forward to Aerion’s success as they start a new chapter in the Sunshine State.”
“This is a truly transformational project for Florida that changes the game both for high-speed air transportation as well for advanced aerospace manufacturing in the state,” said Frank DiBello, the president and CEO of Space Florida. “The decision to locate manufacturing of this technologically advanced supersonic flight vehicle here in Florida is a testament to the growing strength and global recognition of the importance of Florida as a world-leading aerospace state. Space Florida is pleased to have provided financing, structure and development assistance to this project.”
“Brevard County is home to the pioneers of space exploration and now the pioneers of sustainable supersonic transportation.” said Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast President and CEO Lynda Weatherman. “Aerion Park raises the profile of the 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.”
“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 Lober. “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.”
“We are incredibly honored and thrilled to bring this news to our community at a time when it’s needed the most,” said Greg Donovan, the executive director at Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB). “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 Melbourne Mayor 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.”
“Dating back to the space race of the 1960s, FPL has a long and proud track record of helping power the innovation and ingenuity synonymous with Florida’s Space Coast,” said FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy. “Even as we all navigate the economic uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, Aerion’s decision to build its headquarters in Melbourne serves as a reassuring reminder that better days are ahead for our state. FPL remains steadfastly committed to helping re-start Florida’s $1 trillion economy and move it forward once it’s safe to do so.”
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.