FX1 Brings Aviation Jobs To Florida

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The Italico Aviation company announced this week it hopes in early 2013 to begin hiring for its new Kissimmee, Fla., facility, forming a base of employees the company says may eventually grow to 55, to produce the company's two-seat amphibious LSA, the FX1. State and local officials wooed the company with an incentive package, including a property-tax exemption, that is worth nearly $850,000. The local government hopes the company will introduce to the area jobs that are expected to pay an average of $60,000 each. The company hopes the high-wing pontoon aircraft will find roles in surveillance and agricultural work and also hopes to broaden the small-aircraft market with the FX1's sub-$100,000 price tag. The company's production targets may be ... optimistic.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that company CEO Eros Spinozzi has said his company plans to produce about 500 planes a year in Kissimmee. That pace would represent a major chunk of piston engine deliveries, considering that for the first half of 2012 the General Aviation Manufacturers Association listed a total of 381 piston deliveries. "We want to sell to anybody who has not thought to buy a plane before," Spinozzi said. The company is investing more than $3 million into its facility at Kissimmee Gateway Airport. The company has said that its plans are to launch with the FX1, but that it will also pursue creation of a four-seat design and, separately, an electric aircraft. Local government officials are hoping that the company brings an economic boost to the city of Kissimmee.