Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) and the region around it woke up to some very good news on Monday morning, May 20: HondaJet – a division of Honda Aircraft Company – announced plans for a $15.5-million expansion at the company’s global headquarters at PTIA. That will come in the form of a new 82,000-square-foot facility that will focus largely on wing assembly for the HondaJet Elite line. It will also provide more storage space for aircraft parts.
The groundbreaking for the project is just around the corner – July 2019 – and the project is expected to be completed in July 2020.
At the April meeting of the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority, there were hints that something might be in the works. Chairman Steve Showfety spoke about past growth at PTIA and suggested a positive announcement might be coming soon, and the Authority also went into closed session to discuss possible new projects at the airport.
PTIA is in the last stages of establishing a new aviation megasite with roughly 1,000 acres of land with runway access. The HondaJet expansion isn’t part of that megasite since the new facility will be on the 133 acres that Honda Jet already has access to.
In the Monday morning press release, Michimasa Fujino, president and CEO of Honda Aircraft Company, stated that new demand was the driving force behind the expansion at PTIA.
“As the HondaJet’s popularity and presence continues to increase around the world,” he stated, “it is necessary for our facility to meet our production and service needs while operating at the highest level of efficiency. We are proud that Honda Aircraft Company is expanding its footprint in North Carolina and in the aviation industry.”
NC Governor Roy Cooper also weighed in on the good news.
“Honda Aircraft Company is the latest example of a manufacturer enjoying the benefits of doing business in North Carolina and expanding their footprint here,” the governor said. “Their investment in the Triad is a testament to our state’s commitment to economic development and the aerospace industry.”
According to a statement from the company, this will bring HondaJet’s total capital investment in its North Carolina facilities to more than $245 million.
PTIA Executive Director of the Kevin Baker stated that he was “thrilled” about the expansion and added that it “further solidifies the Triad’s reputation as the center of the aerospace industry in North Carolina, and exemplifies Honda Aircraft’s commitment to the aviation industry, the region and the state.”
According to the company, the HondaJet Elite, is “the fastest, farthest and highest-flying plane in its class.”