Saturday, July 06, 2013

Airplane firm looks to locate in Vacaville, California

A company known for "reinventing flying" through its sport aircraft is looking to relocate its business to Vacaville.

City staff has received a non-binding letter of intent from ICON Aircraft Inc., based in Southern California, which plans to move forward on a plan to create a sport aircraft assembly and sales office in an existing 137,940 square foot building at 2141 Beechcraft Road, adjacent to the Nut Tree Airport.

Tuesday, the Vacaville City Council will consider authorizing the City Manager to sign the agreement with ICON and to begin work on developing a final binding financial agreement for future consideration by the council.

ICON Aircraft Inc. was founded in 2005 after the Federal Aviation Administration changed its regulations and created a new "Light Sport Aircraft" category. The goal of ICON Aircraft, according to staff, is to create a consumer-focused "sport aircraft."

The ICON A5, sold for $139,000, can be placed on a vehicle trailer to take-off from or landing on water and traditional runways. The plane seats two, can travel at a maximum speed of 120 mph, uses automotive fuel, has retractable landing gear and the cockpit of the plane is similar to a car. Owners of the plane need 20 hours of training to obtain their sport flying license which is half the required time for other aircraft.

More information, including photos, is available the company's website at

ICON Aircraft in Vacaville, said Vice Mayor Dilenna Harris, will be a big boost to the economy since purchasers will travel to Vacaville, stay at local hotels and eat at local restaurants while they receive the training for the aircraft.

Since 2011, according to a staff report, Vacaville has been in talks with ICON Aircraft to develop a project that will benefit not only the city through generation of sales and property taxes, but also with jobs that will service the Solano County region. Other agencies involved in those meetings included the Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District, Solano Economic Development Corporation, Solano Community College, Solano County and the Nut Tree Airport management staff.

"They would be fabulous to have in Vacaville," said Harris. "It opens a lot of possibilities for Vacaville."

She said the "world class" company offers the potential for hundreds of jobs and is a great complement to the Nut Tree Airport and the establishment of the Jimmy Doolittle Air and Space Museum.

Vacaville also has signed a letter of intent with the Jimmy Doolittle Air and Space Museum Educational Foundation that could result in the creation of an aviation museum and other structures between the Nut Tree Shopping Center and Nut Tree Airport.

Harris said she's pleased to move forward with ICON since she knows there was a lot of competition for the relocation.

"They've really taken all the complexity of flying an aircraft and put it into a car type setting," she said. "It's a luxury car you can fly."

The letter of intent represents a non-binding commitment to negotiate a financial agreement with ICON Aircraft that would include provisions to extend the agreement and incentives should ICON Aircraft reach an employment level of 500 employees in its Vacaville location.

Some of the key points for the proposed letter of intent include sharing a predetermined percentage of sales tax to ICON based upon specific performance standards such as full time job generation with an average salary basis. It also proposes loaning permit processing, development and impact fees to ICON Aircraft to be paid back with future sales that are generated by the project. The city estimates that those fees would reach about $250,000 or less depending on the final design to tenant improvements.

Additionally, the letter of intent proposes that the city work with ICON Aircraft to process an application to consider renaming of various streets in and around the area as well as promptly process all entitlements and permits necessary for the company to construct improvements.

The Vacaville City Council meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the council chamber, 650 Merchant St.


No comments:

Post a Comment