UTC Aerospace Systems announced Tuesday that it is expanding its existing footprint in Foley, Alabama by adding a new manufacturing facility. Slated to open in second-quarter of 2017, the $30 million facility is estimated to bring 260 new jobs to southwest Alabama’s Baldwin County.
The new 80,000 square-foot building will house the assembly of nacelle components and propulsion system integration.
“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,” Marc Duvall, president of UTC Aerospace Systems’ Aerostructures business, said in a statement. “We chose Foley to expand because of its proven track record of performance, our desire to be near a key customer, and the tremendous cooperation we’ve had from the state, county and the city.”
The Foley facility is a leader in UTC Aerospace Systems’ drive to operate the most efficient factories in the industry through its relentless application of continuous improvement principles. UTC Aerospace Systems’ Aerostructures business currently operates two collocated facilities in Foley: a 220,000-square foot original equipment plant employing approximately 600 people and an adjacent 210,000-square foot maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility employing about 200 people.
Gov. Robert Bentley praised the news in a statement
“The UTC Aerospace Systems facility in Foley is one of the company’s most innovative and productive operations, and I welcome this significant expansion, which will add new capabilities and expand its Alabama workforce,” Bentley said. “Creating new jobs remains my top priority, especially in the aerospace industry which we identified as strategic in our Accelerate Alabama growth plan. I commend the leaders at UTC Aerospace Systems for their investment in our state and confidence in the Alabama workforce.”
Other Alabama politicians were quick to echo their support.
“Today’s announcement that UTC Aerospace Systems plans an expansion of its facilities in Foley reaffirms UTC’s commitment to Southwest Alabama and serves to further demonstrate the excellence of the region as a home for high-tech manufacturers,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions. “UTC’s expansion will add 260 Alabamians to its employment rolls to produce aerospace components for nearby Airbus and other aerospace manufacturers. The workforce and environment for manufacturing in Alabama are second to none, and our partnerships with UTC, Airbus, and other global manufacturing leaders will continue to reap benefits to our communities and provide good jobs for Alabamians.”
“I want to commend UTC Aerospace for reaffirming and expanding their commitment to Baldwin County and their operations in Foley,” Congressman Bradley Byrne weighed in. “Today’s news is an important reminder that the economic impact of the Airbus manufacturing facility is not just limited to Mobile. I truly believe Southwest Alabama is on the path to becoming one of the major aviation hubs in the United States, and it is a testament to the great people who make up our workforce.”
With an increased workforce of more than 1,000 employees at the Foley site, the expansion will help the company support multiple airplane platforms including the Airbus A320, the Bombardier CSeries, the Embraer E2 and Mitsubishi Regional Jet, though its primary mission will be to service the Airbus final assembly line in Mobile.
“UTC’s expansion project is more evidence that Alabama is primed for aerospace growth as Airbus ramps up production in Mobile,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “By adding new capabilities at its Baldwin County facility, UTC is solidifying its position as a pillar in an expanding aerospace corridor.”
The current UTC facility in Foley employs around 800 people, making it one of the largest aerospace companies operating in the state.