Company seeking $2 million from city to set up hypersonic aircraft testing facility

Code-named Project Heat would create 100 jobs paying more than $100,000 in West Jacksonville, the Office of Economic Development says.

  • By Ric Anderson
  • | 5:09 p.m. June 7, 2024
  • | 4 Free Articles Remaining!
Cecil Airport in West Jacksonville.
Cecil Airport in West Jacksonville.
Cecil Airport
  • Government
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An undisclosed aerospace and defense technology company is seeking up to $2 million in incentives from the city of Jacksonville to set up testing facilities for hypersonic aircraft at Cecil Airport, according to an Office of Economic Development project summary.

The applicant, code-named Project Heat in the OED summary, plans a $135 million capital investment to expand its research and development operations at an existing hangar at the airport in West Jacksonville. 

The testing facilities include a “hush house,” an enclosed and noise-suppressed facility where engines can be operated indoors.

The company is seeking to lease space on the Jacksonville Aviation Authority’s property adjacent to the taxi-way and flight line.

The Mayor’s Budget Review Committee is scheduled to consider advancing legislation for the project June 10. The company plans to fill 100 full-time staffing positions with an average wage of more than $100,000.

OED is proposing a 10-year, 75% Recapture Enhanced Value grant up to $2 million for the project. A REV grant is a refund on ad valorem tax revenue generated by a new development. 

The summary sheet says Project Heat has stated that incentives are “a material factor in its decision to locate here.” Future expansion plans include manufacturing hypersonic aircraft.

The state of Florida is providing a High-Impact Performance Incentive Award of $3 million and a Capital Investment Tax Credit of up to 100% of corporate tax liability for the project. 

The MBRC is scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. June 10 in the mayor’s conference room on the fourth floor at City Hall, 117 W. Duval St. 



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