Eclipse Has Fla. Service Center; Jet builder also plans maintenance sites in New York, California

Eclipse Aviation has opened a service center for owners of its $1.5 million light jet in Gainesville, Fla., the company said Friday.

The 61,000-square-foot hangar and maintenance building, where almost 20 people are employed, was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration at the end of May.

Technicians at the center will do complete maintenance, including work on the Pratt & Whitney engines, for owners of the Eclipse 500 jet in the Southeast.

By the end of the year, 65 people could be working for Eclipse at the Gainesville-Alachua Regional Airport.

The Gainesville center is the second service center to open but the first outside Albuquerque, where Eclipse is headquartered.

Eclipse has plans to open centers in Albany, N.Y., and Van Nuys, Calif., in the coming months. More service centers are expected to open in other regions in 2008 and beyond.

Since gaining final FAA approval to manufacture its jet, Eclipse has been ramping up its production in Albuquerque, where it employs about 1,200. The company has sold 2,500 of its jets.



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