During a special ceremony on May 6, 2015, at McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, Tennessee, Cirrus Aircraft Co-Founder and CEO Dale Klapmeier joined Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and announced the expansion of Cirrus Aircraft to Knoxville with the new Vision Center. This Cirrus Customer Experience Center will be the central location for all Cirrus Aircraft pilot, owner and customer activities. This will also include sales, delivery, training, maintenance, support, personalization, fixed base operations and more for all Cirrus airplanes concentrating around the new Vision SF50 single-engine personal jet.
The Vision Center will be the location for factory direct type rating training from Cirrus Aircraft. A key component of the SF50 training curriculum at the Vision Center is a Level D, full-motion flight simulator currently under development at CAE. This full flight simulator will be the cornerstone in Vision SF50 type rating training and annual recurrent training. In addition to factory direct training, the Vision Center will provide support for the new Vision SF50 and more than 6,000 SR aircraft. A design center will allow customers to personalize new and current aircraft. Research and development (R&D) as well as manufacturing operations for Cirrus Aircraft will remain in Duluth, Minnesota. All aircraft will continue to be produced at company facilities in Grand Forks, North Dakota and Duluth.
The selection of Knoxville for the home of the Vision Center was the result of a thorough site evaluation process that included more than 15 states and 30 airport locations. McGhee Tyson Airport rose to the top and became Cirrus’ choice with the combination of a convenient location to the connected Cirrus owner base in North America, unique airport and area amenities, favorable weather and, most importantly, a welcoming community for Cirrus Aircraft employees and their families. Todd Simmons, Cirrus Aircraft Chief Customer Officer, will lead the Cirrus Aircraft Team at the new home for all Cirrus Aircraft customer activities and operations.