Eclipse Aviation Opens Gainesville Eclipse Service Center
First service facility outside Eclipse headquarters to drive Eclipse 500 maintenance in the Southeast.
GAINESVILLE, FL.— Eclipse Aviation, manufacturer of the world’s first very light jet (VLJ), today held a ribbon cutting ceremony signifying the official opening of its Southeast Eclipse Service Center (ESC) at the Gainesville-Alachua County Regional Airport.
The 61,000 square foot facility is now operational under Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 145, and is staffed with management and technical personnel, as well as a full complement of aircraft maintenance tooling and equipment. While the facility is the second ESC maintenance center to open, it is the first to operate outside of the company’s headquarters in Albuquerque, NM. Eclipse plans to open additional ESCs in Albany, NY and Van Nuys, CA in the coming months, with expansion into other regions planned for 2008 and beyond.
“Today is a great day for Eclipse Aviation, the City of Gainesville and our customers in the Southeast,” said Peg Billson, chief operating officer of Eclipse Aviation. “The enthusiasm for the Eclipse 500 in this region has been incredible, and this comprehensive maintenance center will allow us to deliver exceptional service to our customers in this area. It is also an honor to be a part of the state of Florida’s ongoing efforts to build a progressive aviation infrastructure that generates economic development and business growth for its communities.”
Eclipse has been granted FAA approval to certify all of its FAR Part 145 repair stations through a single FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This office monitors Eclipse repair station activities such as the application and certification process, and is responsible for site surveillance. Following a site audit performed by this FSDO team, the Gainesville facility gained FAA approval on May 31, 2007.
“We would like to recognize Eclipse Aviation for producing a high-quality, revolutionary product and for choosing Gainesville as its Southeast service center location,” said Peter L. Johnson, chair of the Gainesville Airport Authority. “This is exciting for the airport and the community as Eclipse Aviation brings new jobs and economic opportunities for Gainesville.”
Of the approximately 61,000 square feet that comprises the Gainesville Eclipse Service Center, 45,000 square feet is dedicated to hangar space that can hold up to 12 Eclipse 500 aircraft at a time. Additional areas include 10,800 square foot maintenance floor and a 5,400 square foot customer service area. There are currently just under 20 employees at the Gainesville ESC with plans to increase to up to 65 by the end of this year. Technicians in this facility will be able to perform all Eclipse 500 scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, including work on the Eclipse 500’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PW610F engines.
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