There is good news for Alabama citizens this month: UTC Aerospace Systems has announced plans to expand its Baldwin County aerostructures plant with a $30 million facility.
The new base will supply integrated jet engines to the Airbus A320 family assembly line in Mobile, which will in effect create 260 jobs.
UTC revealed that they planned to build an 80,000-square-foot building for the assembly of the aerodynamic coverings around engines, and propulsion system integration.
The main focus of the new facility is to support production of A320 aircraft in Alabama. Conventional engines for Airbus passenger jets will shift to the new engine option over time.
Marc Duvall, the president of UTC Aerospace Systems’ Aerostructures, commented, “This expansion is a great opportunity to expand our ability to apply our innovative nacelle technology to one of the world’s most popular airplanes.”
With an average of eight million people flying everyday, the engines for those planes have to be coming from somewhere. UTC’s decision to locate to Alabama “is more evidence that Alabama is primed for aerospace growth,” as Greg Canfield, the secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, put it.
Airbus, which recently delivered its first Alabama made A321 passenger jet to JetBlue last week, has been engaging with the local community through partnerships with local universities.
The aerospace giant has donated huge airplane parts to the engineering departments at the University of South Alabama and Auburn University, in an effort to cultivate the next generation of industry leaders.
“Whether it’s a donation of a part, or educational partnership, we feel that we are investing in the industry’s future,” said Kristi Tucker, the director of communications at Airbus Americas Inc. “By giving students the ability to have hands-on experiences with new materials found in aviation (i.e., the parts donations), or real world experience via projects or internships, we are helping to create aviation leaders of tomorrow.”