Ivey, Airbus leaders break ground on Mobile’s A220 manufacturing facility
On Wednesday, Governor Kay Ivey joined leaders of Airbus, top local officials and others at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley for a groundbreaking ceremony to launch construction of the company’s new A220 aircraft manufacturing facility.
The assembly line is expected to satisfy the strong and growing U.S. demand for the A220 aircraft, the newest offering in Airbus’ commercial aircraft product line, and create more than 400 full-time jobs in Mobile.
“This is a great day for Mobile and for Alabama,” Ivey said in a press release. “Airbus’ growth plans will not only create new jobs for Alabamians but also strengthen the bonds that have developed between the global aerospace company and our state. Alabama has a long history in flight and, as this project shows, a bright future in the aviation industry.”
Today, the entire state of Alabama takes a major step forward with our friends at @AirbusInTheUS. As we break ground on the A220 Manufacturing Facility, we’re not only strengthening Airbus’s presence in our state. We are solidifying that Alabama is the place for manufacturing. pic.twitter.com/ARP7GP3lkz
— Governor Kay Ivey (@GovernorKayIvey) January 16, 2019
Airbus CEO Tom Enders led the celebration and welcomed attendees including Airbus and other industry executives, Airbus manufacturing employees, state and national dignitaries and local community leaders.
Airbus manufactures A320 Family aircraft in Mobile, as well as helicopters and satellites elsewhere in the U.S. It also operates an engineering center in Mobile, as well other facilities across the nation.
Jeff Knittel, chairman and CEO of Airbus Americas, said that Airbus’ expansion in the United States reflects the company’s growing partnerships with customers, as well as with American supplier-partners and the communities in which the company operates across the U.S., like coastal Alabama.
“Our partnerships are growing again with the addition of an A220 manufacturing facility that will employ some 400 more employees at full rate,” Knittel outlined. “Together we’ve already put Mobile on the map in the world of global aviation, and together we are making a new mark for the future.”
The new assembly line, which is the company’s second U.S.-based commercial aircraft production facility, will be located at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley adjacent to the A320 Family production line and will facilitate assembly of A220-100 and A220-300 aircraft for U.S. customers.
Aircraft production is planned to begin in quarter three of this year, with first delivery of a Mobile-assembled A220 aircraft scheduled for 2020. The new A220 production facility will be complete by next year.
With addition of this second assembly line, Mobile is poised to do something few could have dreamed…We will become the 4th largest center of aircraft production on the world. ✈️🙌 pic.twitter.com/P9hFQSkINL
— Sandy Stimpson (@MayorStimpson) January 16, 2019
Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said that the A220 assembly line project represents an important milestone for the state’s robust and expanding aerospace sector.
“Airbus’ decision to launch production of A220 aircraft at a new assembly line in Mobile will act as a powerful catalyst for sustained growth in an industrial sector that is key to Alabama’s future,” Canfield explained. “Airbus’ expanding presence in the Mobile aerospace cluster will spark significant job creation and spur additional aerospace investment in the region for many years.”
A220: Is this the new darling of the airlines? https://t.co/ubnCwYeXhm
— Chris McGinnis (@cjmcginnis) January 14, 2019
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn