Local and state officials closed out the month of October with a groundbreaking event for VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering, which plans to build an aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul facility at the Pensacola International Airport.
Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward described the groundbreaking as “a major milestone.”
“With this project and the 400 jobs that come with it, we are solidifying Pensacola International Airport’s role as an economic driver of the city for decades to come,” Hayward said. “This project will secure a foothold for Pensacola in the aerospace industry and will spark the development of an aviation cluster in Northwest Florida.”
VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering (VT MAE) has plans for a 173,000 square foot facility, which will be located on approximately 19 acres of airport property. The design and construction of the $46 million project is being funded through a collection of sources: in addition to the company itself, the project is receiving money from the Florida Department of Transportation, the city of Pensacola, Escambia County, and Industry Recruitment, Retention and Expansion Fund.
The groundbreaking ceremony held Oct. 28 saw a collection of local and state officials gather to dig shovels symbolically into the dirt. In addition to city and county officials, the event was attended by state legislators as well as Gov. Rick Scott.
“Florida’s international airports help welcome millions of visitors each year and attract major job creators like VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering to our state,” Scott told those at the event.
The planned VT MAE facility will accommodate two Boeing 777’s, or four Boeing 757’s, or six Airbus A-320 sized aircraft. The venture is also expected to result in a number of new jobs; local officials are touting the number 400. The company will be looking to hire personnel skilled in the various aspects of aircraft maintenance and repair.
The construction of the VT MAE facility is expected to take about 16 months, with an expected launch of operations beginning in early 2018.