MACON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Gov. Bill Lee announced Monday a helicopter manufacturing company will relocate its headquarters and manufacturing operations from Florida to Lafayette.
Safari Enterprises, LLC, known as Safari Helicopter, manufactures two-seater helicopter kits. Over the next five years, Safari Helicopter will invest $7.5 million and create 85 jobs in Macon County, according to a release.
“Thank you to Safari Helicopter for creating 85 new jobs in Macon County. We are committed to driving high-quality investments in our rural communities, and this project will encourage additional growth in the Upper Cumberland region,” said Gov. Bill Lee
The company will build a 16,000-square-foot facility at the Lafayette Municipal Airport as part of phase one of the project. Phase two will include construction of additional buildings to accommodate for future growth.
Safari manufactures and sells “home build” helicopter manufacturing kits for aviation enthusiasts with an in-house build option for those uncomfortable with the building process, according to release.
“There were multiple factors in our decision to move to Lafayette. I have to say, it was the incredible assistance from TNECD and the genuine welcome we received from the mayor and city council in Lafayette that clinched the deal. We can’t wait to open the hangar doors this summer,” said Abe Gaskins, co-owner, Safari Enterprises