Thursday, July 24, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Aircraft maker hoping to come to Vacaville

ICON press conerence 7_9_13

ICON Aircraft CEO Kirk Hawkins speaks to Vacaville City officials and media about a proposed training and production facility in Vacaville. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page A3 | July 10, 2013 |

VACAVILLE — ICON Aircraft wants to bring its production facility and headquarters to Vacaville’s Nut Tree Airport and to begin that process, the company’s CEO, Kirk Hawkins, presented a non-binding letter of intent to the City Council, Tuesday night.

If the process plays out as both parties hope, the facility could bring hundreds of manufacturing and other jobs to the city starting as early as next year.

In a 4-0 voice vote – Councilman Curtis Hunt was not present – the council approved a resolution directing City Manager Laura Kuhn to sign the letter of intent and begin negotiations to bring the aircraft manufacturer to Vacaville.

Hawkins said in a press conference before the council meeting that Vacaville is the company’s No. 1 choice, though sites in Arizona and Texas are also under consideration.

ICON is looking at a pair of warehouses at 2141 Beechcraft Road, next to the Nut Tree Airport, that fit its ideal size and location for the production facility.

“What brings us to Vacaville really is we’re looking for a production facility,” Hawkins said. “We did a nationwide search and narrowed it down to Texas, Arizona and California. A lot of good reasons to be in California, there’s a lot of good reasons not to be.”

Among the negatives for California is the cost of being in business.

“The cost of doing business is definitely higher, so we’re going through a process of looking at these different areas,” said Hawkins, a former Air Force fighter pilot and commercial airline pilot. “I’ll tell you right now that Vacaville is our top choice. We hope to reach an agreement.”

The letter of intent accepted by the council marks the official opening of negotiations between the city and ICON on matters such as permits, construction and economic incentives.

Tuesday night, the council adopted a resolution authorizing the negotiations, and that indicates there are special considerations for ICON in the works.

Among those is a rebate, “based on a formula for a percentage of sales tax.”

Also in the resolution is a “loan for permit and development impact fees based on production and quality of jobs for the region.”

The council also “proposed to ensure expedited plan checks and other items to facilitate the project.”

Kuhn, said in the council meeting the city could loan ICON the cost to cover permit fees and development fees, which could be around $250,000, although no firm number was discussed or approved.

The resolution states that ICON must reach a “number of milestones and achievements” for those incentives to become a reality.

None of that has been approved and will need council action should the city and ICON come to a binding agreement.

Once the company is up and running, Hawkins said ICON could employ close to 500 people building its light sport aircraft, the A5, which is positioned as a low-cost, consumer-oriented way to get into flying.

With changes in the way the Federal Aviation administration regulates and classifies aircraft, ICON is hoping to launch a new industry, and it has nearly 1,000 pre-orders in hand for the A5, which takes two weeks to learn to fly and get licensed for, Hawkins said.

The A5 is a two-seat airplane with wings that fold up. It can be transported on a trailer and is meant as a fun, low-cost, hobby aircraft for consumers.

Hawkins said the A5 has a flight range of about 300 miles and it runs on regular auto fuel.

The four council members present Tuesday night voiced their support for ICON’s plan, as did a number of other entities, including the Solano Economic Development Corp., the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce and several local pilots.

“We’re going to do everything possible to get you guys here,” said Councilman Ron Rowlett.

Mayor Steve Hardy agreed.

“I look forward to the possible day when it’s a done deal,” he said.

Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or mcorpos@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 4 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Rich GiddensJuly 10, 2013 - 7:00 am

    The choice between Texas and California is a no-brainer. They won't set up shop in a high tax, high crime, disloyal government State and all of your whining and nanny-state'isms isn't going to lure ICON into your economic and social roach motel either!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJuly 10, 2013 - 1:02 pm

    Rich, Texas awaits your arrival as much as Suisun/Fairfield looks forward to your departure. That's big even by Texas standards!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JBDragonJuly 10, 2013 - 1:11 pm

    Well Texas would be the better move business wise, but maybe CA just has the better weather? Must be something he likes that he would overlook the much higher cost to do business here! Whatever it is, great, need the jobs here.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Bob M.July 13, 2013 - 7:44 pm

    I hope you guys don't blow this like you did the Tesla deal. We need this kind of manufacturing it will put us on the map and pilots will want. To start flying here again. This airport has been a wasteland since 911 and this is just the thing to kick start us back into view. Please make it work and don't get greedy. We are not the only airport community they are lookin at.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Artists with trowels transform highway wall

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

 
 
County court employees rally against cuts, furloughs

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A3, 8 Comments | Gallery

 
Crews to begin Vacaville slurry seal street project

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A3

2nd candidate eyes Vacaville mayoral run

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Bertani schedules town hall meet

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

 
 
Vacaville police arrest fugitive Dezmon Frazier

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 6 Comments

Sesame Street USO tour visits Travis

By Staff Sgt. Christopher Carranza | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: July 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Fairfield police log: July 21, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Weather for July 24, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B10

Fairfield police log: July 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: July 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

Suisun City police log: July 21, 2013

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

 
Suisun City police log: July 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Lawsuit tests racial policy at California prisons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

 
Casualty numbers raise questions about Gaza war

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

40 bodies from jet solemnly returned to Dutch soil

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Honduran families deported back to a bleak future

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 2 Comments

Lockdown lifted at Little Rock Air Force Base

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
US pushes for truce as Gaza battle rages

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

 
Watch out for Bobby Jindal

By Jay Ambrose | From Page: A7

 
Rick Perry’s contradiction

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

Editorial Cartoons for July 24, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Good men lost due to Bergdahl

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

Is Logue tripping over words?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: July 24, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for July 24, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

I resent my husband for not defending me to his mother

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes for July 24, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

CBS event marks civil rights anniversary

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
4-day Comic Con festival kicks off in San Diego

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Filmmaker Michael Moore’s divorce is finalized

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

 
CBS says Colbert keeping CBS’ ‘Late Show’ in NYC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Raiders start to arrive for start of camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1, 1 Comment

 
Tight end Vernon Davis arrives at 49ers training camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Pence drives in 3, Giants beat Phillies 3-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cespedes hits 2 HRs, A’s hold off Astros 9-7

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Big innings fuels 16-1 Expos victory in Area 1 opener

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
4 Cities to meet with USOC about 2024

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Testimony ends in trial over $2B Clippers sale

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Playful Pole wins Tour stage, as Nibali marches on

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Mavericks’ Felton pleads guilty in NYC gun case

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Chiefs, running back Jamaal Charles reach deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Seattle’s Sidney Rice announces his retirement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Broncos owner giving up control due to Alzheimer’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

.

Business

Stopping deadly oil train fires: New rules planned

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US economy, though sluggish, may now be sturdier

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

GM issues 6 more safety recalls

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Obituaries

Joseph Ross Smith Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9