State News

HondaJet Plant Comes To Triad

Gov. Mike Easley announced Friday that Honda Aircraft Co. will manufacture its new small jet at Piedmont Triad Airport.

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Honda's executive jet. (Honda photo)
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Gov. Mike Easley announced Friday that Honda Aircraft Co. will manufacture its new small jet in Greensboro.


The company has already opened its corporate headquarters at Piedmont Triad International Airport, and government officials have approved an incentives package for the company to build its HondaJets at the airport.

“We all know that North Carolina is home to the first flight and now Honda Aircraft knows it has a place for its new HondaJet to really take off,” said Easley. “Because of our state’s commitment to making the necessary investments in workforce development and education, 283 more North Carolinians will have high-wage, high-skilled 21st century jobs."

The jobs at the plant are expected to pay an average of $70,000 a year, twice the county's annual wage. The aircraft weighs less than 10,000 pounds and would be used in the air taxi and corporate flying sectors. Between 85 and 100 contract workers would also be hired for the project.

Guilford County commissioners voted Thursday to approve $600,000 in incentives for the company. Other contributors include the cities of Greensboro and High Point, and a private group in Winston-Salem.

"Normally I hesitate on incentives. There's no way that I could possibly hesitate on voting for this," Guilford County Commissioner Kay Cashion said after the vote.

The incentive money would help Honda lease 70 acres at the airport, with 30 more acres available for expansion. Construction would start immediately and the first buildings would be finished by the end of 2007.

The HondaJet, which still needs federal approval, seats about six people and would be priced at about $3.65 million. The jets aren't slated to be delivered until 2010.

Honda Aircraft Co. engineers started working at Piedmont Triad International Airport in 2000, and designed and built the jet. About 50 engineers are already employed by Honda at the airport.

Triad officials said three states and other communities in North Carolina have competed for the company.

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