Where Does Embraer Build Aircraft?

Brazilian manufacturer Embraer is the world’s third-largest producer of civil aircraft. In other words, it is the best of the rest when it comes to manufacturers from outside the industry-dominating Airbus-Boeing duopoly. To date, it has delivered more than 8,000 aircraft over more than half a century of manufacturing history. But where exactly does it build them?

Embraer E-Jet E2 Profit Hunter Getty
Embraer was founded in August 1969. Photo: Getty Images

The main site

Embraer’s main base is situated in São José dos Campos. This city is part of the state of São Paulo, which is a significant area of Brazil in terms of both population (22% of the entire country) and GDP (around 34% of the domestic product). It is around 50 miles (80 km) from the city of São Paulo, which is the state capital, and the world’s largest Portuguese-speaking city.

Meanwhile, São José dos Campos is also only 200 miles (320 km) from Rio de Janeiro, which is one of Brazil’s other main economic centers. As such, it is well-positioned both economically and geographically for companies like Embraer to base themselves. Indeed, the city is home not just to its main production site but also to its main corporate offices.

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Embraer E2
São José dos Campos houses Embraer’s main production facility and offices. Photo: Getty Images

In fact, Embraer is not the only company to have noticed the economic potential of São José dos Campos. Indeed, the city’s Parque Tecnológico (Technological Park) is the world’s only research institute where Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer all have a presence.

Ideal for deliveries

Several of Embraer’s facilities are conveniently situated at the periphery of São José dos Campos-Professor Urbano Ernesto Stumpf International Airport (SJK). While the airport presently has no scheduled services, it is an ideal hub from which Embraer can test and eventually deliver its new aircraft. Its runway 16/34 measures 2,676 meters in length.

Of course, Brazil’s location and the relatively short range of Embraer’s jetliners mean that such delivery flights may have to take rather interesting itineraries to far-flung customers. For example, when Belarussian flag carrier Belavia received its first E195-E2 last December, its journey from São José dos Campos to Minsk stopped in Recife and Malaga.

São José dos Campos Airport is situated around 7 miles (12 km) from the city center. It currently has no scheduled flights serving it. Photo: Fontela01 via Wikimedia Commons

A recent expansion

Embraer celebrated its 50th birthday in August 2019. As well as being a milestone in terms of time, this also saw the company announce that it would be expanding its Eugênio de Melo unit in São José dos Campos. It will invest $30 million to do so, and the project will result in the facility more than doubling its employee capacity, from 1,500 to 4,000.

Furthermore, the project will create 600 temporary construction jobs, to further support the local economy. The 4,000 employees that the expanded site is set to hold will represent more than 22% of Embraer’s entire workforce. According to the company’s website, it presently employs a total of 18,000 members of staff across all departments.

Embraer Phenom 300
Embraer produces private jets, like this Phenom 300, in Florida. Photo: James via Flickr

Other production locations

Of course, Embraer’s São José dos Campos headquarters is not its only production facility. Indeed, it also has such bases elsewhere in the state of São Paulo, in Botucatu and Gavião Peixoto. However, its production is not limited to Brazilian shores.

Indeed, Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB) in Florida is home to its production site for various private jet designs. These include aircraft from the Phenom and Legacy families. Meanwhile, the city of Évora houses Embraer Portugal, which is set to play a significant role in developing the company’s modular ‘FLEXCRAFT‘ program.

Which is your favorite Embraer aircraft? Have you ever visited one of the company’s production facilities? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!