Cities around the country sought the manufacturer.
A light-sport, amphibious aircraft, called Super Petrel, is now being sold at Ormond Beach Municipal Airport, and city and business leaders are hoping the company eventually manufactures the planes here. The local operation, Super Petrel USA, is the U.S. headquarters of Scoda Aeronautica, of São Paulo, Brazil, which has sold 350 of the planes around the world.
At a Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting for the company Oct. 10, President Rodrigo Scoda said the company “desires and hopes” to move the assembly operation here but it depends on the success of sales in the U.S.
The airplanes cost about $175,000 and require less training than the standard general aviation airplane. It can also run on automotive gasoline, which is less expensive than aviation fuel.
Jerry Angley, of the Ormond Beach Civil Air Patrol, summed up the attraction of the plane by saying, “It’s just fun to fly.”
The local operation opened in a large hanger at the airport a year ago, and it's headed up by Ormond Beach resident Roger Helton, chief executive officer, who was introduced to the Scoda Aeronautica management by city Economic Director Joe Mannarino.
Helton worked for 15 years as a corporate pilot, 20 years for UPS and has been active with the Civil Air Patrol.
“I retired 10 years ago and I’ve been working ever since,” Helton said.
The local staff also includes a sales director and a pilot.
“Thank you for bringing this bold new business venture to Ormond Beach”
MAYOR BILL PARTINGTON, welcoming Super Petrel USA
When a plane is sold, it is delivered to Ormond Beach from Brazil, and the customer can pick it up or it can be flown to them. A purchase includes training. Helton said they sold two of the aircraft when they attended the Sun and Fun Air Show in Lakeland.
Mannarino said many cities around the country were vying for the business and Ormond Beach was fortunate to be selected.
Mayor Bill Partington attended the ribbon cutting to show the city’s appreciation.
“Thank you for bringing this bold new business venture to Ormond Beach,” he said, speaking to Petrel management.
In other airport developments, Mannarino said the extension of the east-west runway to 1,000 feet to allow larger planes is still in the plans, and it’s now in an environmental study phase. He said the planes would take off toward the west, away from the neighborhoods, for noise abatement. The city also is planning to develop 138 more acres at the airport. Part of this development would be to add roads for direct access from the surrounding business park to the airport.