- Project represents $7.5 million investment in Macon County.
- Company is leading manufacturer of helicopter kits.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Safari Enterprises, LLC officials announced today that the helicopter manufacturer will relocate its headquarters and manufacturing operations from Marianna, Fla. to Lafayette, Tenn.
Safari Enterprises, LLC, known as Safari Helicopter, is a leading manufacturer of two-seater helicopter kits. Over the next five years, Safari Helicopter will invest $7.5 million and create 85 jobs in Macon County.
As phase one of the relocation, the company will build a 16,000-square-foot facility at the Lafayette Municipal Airport. Phase two will include construction of additional buildings to accommodate for future growth. The company manufactures and sells “home build” helicopter manufacturing kits for aviation enthusiasts with an in-house build option for those uncomfortable with the building process.
Over the last five years, TNECD has supported nearly 40 economic development projects in the Upper Cumberland region, resulting in 3,700 job commitments and nearly $450 million in capital investment.
“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.” – Gov. Bill Lee
“Safari Helicopter’s decision to relocate its headquarters from Florida to Tennessee and create new family-wage jobs in Lafayette is a huge win for Macon County and the entire Upper Cumberland region. We welcome Safari Helicopter and thank the company for investing in Tennessee.” – TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe
“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.” – Abe Gaskins, co-owner, Safari Enterprises
“TVA and Tri-County Electric Membership Corporation congratulate Safari Helicopter on its decision to locate operations in Macon County. Helping to support job creation and investment in our region is at the core of TVA’s mission of service. We are proud to partner with Tennessee Central Economic Authority, Macon County and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to further that mission and support companies, like Safari Helicopter’s business success in the Valley.” – John Bradley, TVA senior vice president of Economic Development
“We could not be more excited for Safari Helicopter and Macon County. These jobs will provide a significant boost to our local economy. I congratulate them and all our state and local officials who helped secure these jobs. Macon County offers a multitude of benefits for businesses looking to locate or expand operations, including our skilled workforce and a wonderful quality of life. We will continue to make job creation our top priority.” – Sen. Mark Pody (R-Lebanon)
“I’m very proud to welcome our newest employer to Macon County. Tennessee continues to be a top choice for companies looking to establish advanced manufacturing facilities and our talented workforce makes Lafayette an exceptional choice. We thank Safari Helicopter for their investment and wish them success for many years to come.” – Rep. Kelly Keisling (R-Byrdstown)
About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies that help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment to the state and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: tnecd.com. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd.
TNECD Media Contact
Molly Hair, Public Information Officer