By Graham Warwick in Washington DC

Sino Swearingen Aircraft (SSAC) is to stay in San Antonio, Texas after local and state governments agreed a package of financial incentives.

SSAC, a Taiwanese-backed company, plans to invest $70 million in a new manufacturing facility able to produce 100 SJ30 light business jets a year by 2010.

To beat off rival offers from Pennsylvania and West Virginia – where the airframe for the SJ30 is already fabricated – the city and county offered 100% abatement on taxes for 10 years, a 65% abatement on inventory taxes for 10 years, and a 40% saving on the lease of 14.6Ha (36 acres) at San Antonio International airport. The Texas Enterprise Fund also agreed to invest $2.5 million in the company.

After city and county approval, the aviation department will finalise a long-term lease with SSAC covering the 4.6Ha currently leased and the 10Ha expansion where the company plans to build a $20 million, 1,900m² (20,000ft²) final assembly and completion centre. An extra $50 million is planned to be spent on parts and inventory.

SSAC will hand over the first customer SJ30 this month and plans to deliver three this year, 30 next year and 100 a year from 2010. The company says it holds deposits on 300 orders for the $6.2 million aircraft.

Source: Flight International