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Pensacola becomes Home to VT Aerospace Yr Ender.


In September, Pensacola was announced as the new home for a portion of V-T Mobile Aerospace Engineering, Inc. -- formerly known as ST Mobile Aerospace Engineering. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody looks back at the project – originally code-named “Project Stallion.” 

Meeting in special session, the Pensacola City Council voted 7-0 to approve the 30-year lease – which was signed immediately after adjournment by Mayor Ashton Hayward. 

The City will construct an aircraft hangar complex on 19 acres adjacent to Pensacola International Airport, then lease it to VT MAE for 30 years. When operations begin in mid-2016, VT-MAE will provide aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul – MRO -- services for both commercial airlines and air freight operators. The hangar will be able to house two wide-body aircraft at once.

Scott Luth with the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce told the Council that the deal also calls for the creation of at least 300 full-time jobs. One of the next steps is training the plant’s workforce, through programs at George Stone Technical Center, Pensacola State College, and the University of West Florida.

Cost of the project is $37 million. Part of the funding comes from the Local Option Sales Tax -- in the form of a $3.2 million loan by Escambia County to the City of Pensacola.

The announcement concluded the nearly two-year campaign by the City of Pensacola, Escambia County, the local Chamber and other economic development partners. VT MAE is a subsidiary of Singapore-based ST Engineering.

According to the Haas Business Center at UWF, the VT-MAE facility is expected to pump about $61 million annually into the local economy.

However, groundbreaking will not take place anytime soon, as the design process has just begun.