UTC Aerospace Systems is expanding its existing footprint in Foley, Ala., by adding a new manufacturing and nacelle assembly facility that is estimated to bring 260 new jobs to Baldwin County.
UTC Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp, is one of Alabama’s largest aerospace manufacturers as measured by number of employees.
The new 80,000 square-foot building will house the assembly of nacelle components and propulsion system integration. The primary mission of the new facility will be to support the Airbus A320, initially the current engine option and eventually the NEO (new engine option). The nacelle system for the A320neo features a proprietary inlet acoustic treatment that reduces drag, which improves fuel efficiency.
Integrated A320 family propulsion systems will be delivered from the new facility to the Airbus final assembly line in Mobile, about an hour away. In addition, the site will provide support for other airplane platforms equipped with the Pratt & Whitney PurePower® PW1000G Geared Turbofan engine: the Bombardier CSeries, the Embraer E2 and Mitsubishi Regional Jet.
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 approximately 200 people.
“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,” said Marc Duvall, president of UTC Aerospace Systems’ Aerostructures business. “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.”
UTC Aerospace Systems has provided nacelle technology for the A320 family for more than three decades. “We have more experience than anyone in integrating the nacelle system to the engine and the airplane,” said Duvall.
Construction of the new facility will take about a year, with opening slated for the second quarter of 2017. Employment will ramp up as customer requirements grow.