Airbus manufacturing in the United States advanced another step closer to reality today in Mobile, Alabama, as construction of the company’s A320 Family Assembly Line officially began.
During a groundbreaking ceremony at the Mobile Brookley Aeroplex, Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Brégier acknowledged the significance of the U.S. facility to Airbus’ global growth. “Building an A320 Family Assembly Line in Mobile is truly groundbreaking for Airbus. Our customers need more aircraft that cut fuel burn, emissions and operating costs. With this assembly line we will be able to meet our customers’ needs at their doorstep, in addition to the worldwide demand for these efficient aircraft. When this assembly line opens, we will be the only one to assemble aircraft in Asia, the Americas and Europe.”
The new assembly line, which is the company’s first U.S.-based production facility, will be located at the Mobile Brookley Aeroplex and will facilitate assembly of A319, A320 and A321 aircraft. Major construction of the facility will begin this summer. Aircraft assembly is planned to begin in 2015, with first delivery of a Mobile-assembled aircraft in 2016. At full production, the assembly line and associated facilities would produce up to four aircraft a month which directly translates into employing as many as 1,000 high-skilled workers.
EADS CEO Tom Enders helped lead the celebrations and welcomed more than 1,000 attendees including many EADS and other Airbus executives, state and national dignitaries, industry officials and the local community. In a twist from typical groundbreaking ceremonies, officials and dignitaries introduced various members of the Gulf Coast community and aviation industry who spoke about how the new assembly line is not just about making airplanes, but the substantial positive impact it will make in the lives of thousands of people like themselves. Local community representatives included: Henry Hinojosa, Project Superintendent with Hoar Program Management represented the local construction industry; Liz Freeman, co-owner of Long’s Human Resource Services represented local small businesses; Victoria Corob, an eighth grader in Mobile; and Dr. Keivan Deravi, Professor of Economics at Auburn University Montgomery. Industry speakers included Clay Jones, Chairman and CEO of Rockwell Collins and Dave Barger, President and CEO of JetBlue Airways.
Source: Airbus, an EADS N.V. company (Paris: EAD.PA)
Date: Apr 9, 2013