Miami-Area Officials Welcome Safire Aircraft

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While Cessna and Eclipse seem to command most of the spotlight in the personal jet market, there seems to be a determined effort in Florida to provide some competition. Safire Aircraft recently announced plans for a massive new production facility at Opa-Locka Airport, in Dade County. The Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County's official economic development partnership, held a press conference on June 4 to officially welcome the company to its new Opa-Locka headquarters and unveil plans for the $40 million project. ] The Beacon Council helped Safire Aircraft Company with site selection at Opa-Locka Airport and the packaging of incentives. In one of the largest projects in the history of Opa-Locka, Safire has plans to build a new 500,000-square-foot, $40 million aircraft assembly facility. The company's new-generation, six-place jet is on schedule for deliveries in the first half of 2006, pending FAA certification. Production is expected to peak at more than 500 airplanes per year by 2009. According to Joe Cox, Safire Aircraft's vice president of operations and manufacturing, this translates into the employment of more than 700 production workers producing approximately two aircraft per day.