Airbus announcement means 1000s of jobs
Published 10:35 pm Monday, July 2, 2012
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley on Monday joined with Airbus executives, economic development leaders, and other officials in formally announcing that Airbus has chosen Alabama as the site of its first U.S.-based production facility.
The facility at the Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile will be used to assemble the industry-leading family of A319, A320, and A321 aircraft. The entire project represents a $600 million total investment and is expected to create up to 1,000 jobs within the production facility when it reaches full capacity. In addition, the construction phase of the project is expected to create nearly 3,200 construction-related jobs over a three-year period.
“When Airbus aircraft take to the skies, Alabama’s pride and workmanship will soar along with them,” Bentley said. “We have worked a long time and have put in many hours to make this announcement a reality. This project will create thousands of well-paying jobs that the people of this area need and deserve. Alabama has the best workforce you’ll find anywhere in the country. Airbus has recognized all that this state can offer expanding industries, and the company is making a significant new investment in Alabama.”
The Airbus project is a strong example of the economic development projects targeted by Accelerate Alabama – a long-term strategic plan for attracting a broad range of industries and new jobs. Accelerate Alabama was created by the Alabama Economic Development Alliance, which was established by Governor Bentley last year.
Aerospace is one of 11 specific business sectors that Alabama is pursuing for additional development as part of the Accelerate Alabama plan.
“Winning the Airbus project will, indeed, accelerate Alabama,” Bentley said. “This type of project is exactly why I created the Alabama Economic Development Alliance. This is why we have the Accelerate Alabama strategic plan. With the Airbus project, we are seeing positive results that will lead to new jobs while strengthening the state’s economy and advancing our position in the global marketplace.”
Construction of the new Airbus facility is expected to generate $162 million of additional demand for goods and services in Alabama. As the facility comes online, its earnings will be a major benefit to the local and state economies.
“This decision to assemble our popular A320 Family aircraft in the U.S. is great news for our industry partnerships in the U.S. and supports Airbus’ strategy on several fronts,” Airbus President & CEO Fabrice Bregier said. “The U.S. is the largest single-aisle aircraft market in the world – with a projected need for 4,600 aircraft over the next 20 years, and Airbus will be helping to meet that need with aircraft manufactured here. Furthermore, this facility creates new manufacturing jobs and further enhances the partnership between Airbus and its supplier-partners and their employees – a very large percentage of which are located here in the United States. Lastly, it facilitates long-term growth throughout the company in a manner consistent with our goal of expanding our global industrial base.”
“The time is right for Airbus to expand in America,” Bregier added.
“Mobile is now becoming part of Airbus’ global production network, joining our successful and growing assembly lines in Hamburg, Toulouse and Tianjin.”
Construction of the new facility is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2013. Aircraft assembly is projected to begin in 2015. By the year 2017, the facility is expected to produce between 40 and 50 aircraft per year.