CEDAR CITY – Jet manufacturer MSC Aerospace announced Thursday that Cedar City will be the home of its SyberJet SJ30, winning out over a competitive bid by San Antonio, Texas.
The choice comes after months of wooing by state and county governments, included multi-year tax incentives totaling more than $43 million. MSC Aerospace owns SyberJet Aircraft and Metalcraft Technologies, so roots run deep in Iron County. But company directors say in the end, it came down to money.
"It's an economic decision for us," says MSC Chairman David Grant. "An old economics professor of mine told me, 'When all is said and done, it's all economics.'"
The production of the SJ30 will create about 1,200 new jobs over 20 years for Iron County, making it one of the largest private employers in the area. Local business leaders are excited about what the move means to the local economy.
“It puts us on the map for other industries, not only for aerospace but other manufacturing, other high tech industries,” says Cedar City-Iron County Economic Development Director Brennan Wood. “[It shows] that we can handle a company of this size and a project of this magnitude.”
The SJ30 is considered a luxury business jet, often referred to as the “Ferrari of the skies.” The six-passenger jet has an engine range of 2,500 nautical miles, meaning it can travel transatlantic. It also boasts a faster and higher flight plan than most comparable jets.
“We have a lot of other things going with the number of industrial plants and the iron mines, agriculture,” says Iron County Commissioner Dale Brinkerhoff. “But this has potential of creating the biggest tax base and employment base than anything we’ve had in Iron County.”
Most of the new jobs won’t come until after the manufacturing plant is built. The first aircraft is expected to take off from the Cedar City airport in about 30 months.