Aerion Supersonic has picked Melbourne, Florida, as the site for its manufacturing plant and ancillary industries for the production of the AS2 supersonic business jet. At a news conference in late April, the company and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said the $300 million Aerion Park will begin construction this year and be finished by 2026. Manufacturing of the Mach 1.8 aircraft is slated to begin by 2023. “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,” Aerion CEO Tom Vice said.
Melbourne is home to Embraer’s North American headquarters and a variety of other aerospace firms that take advantage of the skilled labor pool that is a legacy of NASA’s heyday on the east coast of the state. Florida also offers generous incentives for companies like Aerion to locate there. The state’s spaceport authority, Space Florida, is financing and developing the project. The facilities are expected to employ about 675 people, many of them earning more than $100,000 a year. “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 CEO Frank DiBello said.