L3Harris Technologies expects to add 50 staff members at its commercial aviation solutions headquarters in St. Petersburg over the next 12 to 24 months.
The company has added 30 people since it moved into the downtown St. Petersburg office at 490 1st Ave S. a few months ago, and now has about 150 people at the site, said Alan Crawford, president of the business unit.
St. Petersburg is the global headquarters for the commercial aviation solutions business, which has 3,500 employees around the world, Crawford said at a ribbon-cutting for the facility Thursday morning.
The business builds simulation equipment and trains pilots for commercial air transport. It also builds avionics equipment for commercial and defense aircraft; satellite communications, terrain and traffic collision avoidance systems; and security and detection equipment.
The company’s check baggage scanners were on display behind Crawford and Mayor Rick Kriseman during the ribbon-cutting
“We make sure nothing gets on the aircraft that shouldn’t. We also make sure the carry-on baggage and people get onto the aircraft quickly, safely and effectively,” Crawford said. “All of that together is part of our mission to deliver safer and more secure skies.”
“They live it. They breathe it. It’s all about keeping us safe every day,” said Kriseman, who toured the business before the brief ceremony.
L3Harris is a great fit for St. Petersburg’s Grow Smarter strategy, Kriseman said. Advanced manufacturing and data analytics are among the five targeted industries in the strategy.
“Everyone knows about the black boxes. They’re looked at when something bad happens,” Kriseman said. “What’s really cool is, they’re looking at it to prevent something bad from happening. They’re taking all that data and giving it back to the airlines to make us safer every day we get on a plane.”
L3 Technologies consolidated its locations in Sarasota and on Gandy Boulevard in St. Petersburg, when it signed a long-term lease for 60,000 square feet on the 5th and 6th floors and part of the first floor in the Tampa Bay Times building. The lease was signed in January, according to real estate firm Franklin Street, which arranged the lease. That deal ranked No. 1 for tech office space deals in the Tampa-St. Pete area on CBRE’s 2019 Scoring Tech Talent report.
In June, L3 merged with Harris Corp. to create L3Harris Technologies (NYSE: LHX), a global aerospace and defense technology company with $17 billion in annual revenue, 50,000 employees and customers in 130 countries.