FAIRFIELD — Icon Aircraft won approval from Solano County on Tuesday for several agreements related to a proposed aircraft assembly and production plant next to the county’s Nut Tree Airport in Vacaville.
Vacaville has been wooing Icon for more than a year. Icon is looking for a location to build its Icon A5, a two-seat, amphibious landing aircraft with fold-up wings, a speed of 120 mph and range of 300 miles.
Agreements with the county put Icon on schedule to start work on an assembly plant in Vacaville by year’s end and to open the plant in December or January 2015, a county report said. A water landing area for the amphibious aircraft would come at a later date.
The Solano County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the agreements for the Icon project. The county will allow Icon to have direct access to the airport from adjacent property, to construct a taxiway between the proposed assembly plant and the runway, to buy fuel from the county and to negotiate with the county on creating a water landing area.
For all of that, Icon has yet to announce it is moving from Southern California to Vacaville.
“Not formally,” Icon Director of Real Estate Mark Heavey said after the meeting, adding that the company first needed to formalize agreements with the county.
When asked if Icon is coming to Vacaville, Heavey laughed.
“This is a big step,” he said. “The formal announcement I would think is shortly coming.”
County supervisors passed the Icon agreement without a word. They did so as part of their consent calendar, which allows them to pass a group of items deemed noncontroversial at one time.
“I think this begins to solidify the fact they’re going to be here,” Supervisor John Vasquez said after the meeting. “This is a big first step.”
Icon officials for months have said that Vacaville is the front-runner to become the site of their offices and assembly and production plant. They’ve also mentioned Arizona and Texas as possible locations.
The agreement with the county says that Icon plans to manufacture and assemble aircraft within an existing building near the Nut Tree Airport. It would have sales, flight training, maintenance, storage and office areas in a building to be constructed.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.