The new Bradley facility is intended to serve Embraer owners in the Northeast, including a start-up air charter service company in Stamford that has ordered 50 Phenom 100s, Embraer said.
Embraer, which claims a strong customer base in the Northeast, chose Bradley for its central location between Boston and New York and for Connecticut's reliable local supply of aviation workers, it said. Through the Connecticut Development Authority, the state has agreed to issue $12 million in bonds for the Embraer project, all of which would be paid back by the company.
Bombardier's Scavotto, who said there are no immediate plans to expand his company's facilities further, said Bradley's ability to remain open in weather that would close larger Northeastern airports also makes it an attractive site for business.
Embraer's arrival isn't the only sign of the business jet boom at Bradley.
The airport has two Fixed Base Operators -- which sell gas, parking and other services to general aviation flyers, including business jet travelers -- that are also thriving.
TAC Air, which handles the charter flights that carry UConn basketball teams to away games, for example, said business has grown in each of the past three years, corresponding with the boom in jet sales. The company would not provide any data.
Signature Flight Support, the other FBO, did not return phone calls, but people who work at the airport every day say the company also appears busy.
Bradley does not track the number of business jet flights coming and going.
Airport officials cite the Embraer project as an example of the airport's role as a driver of economic development in the state, but say the focus remains commercial air travel. Bradley has no specific plan for expanding business jet services, said L. Scott Frantz, head of Bradley's board of directors.
``We don't want to become an executive jet airport,'' Frantz said.
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