Airbus Alabama plant nears completion, as Boeing gears up in Everett

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Airbus FAL Mobile USA

Airbus’ primary A320 assembly plant, the company’s fourth for the 737 competitor, now is nearing completion a year after ground breaking.
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Steve Wilhelm
Staff Writer- Puget Sound Business Journal

With Boeing getting ready to start construction on 777X factories in Everett, Airbus’ new A320 plant in Alabama already has a roof and walls.

A year after groundbreaking, the $600 million Airbus plant in Mobile, Ala., is nearing completion, as is a power house that will connect with utilities.

“The construction work continues with the assembly of the service building, housing the main offices, followed by the building of the logistics center,” said an Airbus statement.

On the people side, new assembly line workers, as well as engineers, have been training in Hamburg, Germany.

The plant, which will be Airbus’ fourth A320 plant, is very important for southern Alabama, given that most of the aerospace work has been in the north, said Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield, in an interview when he visited Seattle in October.

“It represents a real opportunity, and real change in the lives of individuals and families in that region, who are able to begin or work in careers that offer very competitive salaries and benefits,” Canfield said. “For individuals, it means opportunity, the ability to fulfill dreams and provide for future of their children. It means economic expansion for those communities, too.”

Currently, Alabama has about 83,000 aerospace-related workers for 400 aerospace companies. Airbus’ facilities will add to that.

When the Mobile plant starts operating in 2015, this will Airbus’ fourth plant making Airbus’ smallest aircraft, the A320 series, which competes against Boeing’s 737.

Airbus will make the aircraft in Toulouse, France; Tianjin, China; Hamburg and Mobile. The first A320 delivery is to be in 2016.

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