Airbus Brings First Major Aircraft Assembly Operation to U.S.

Posted on April 9, 2013

Airbus will build the only aircraft assembly site in the Western Hemisphere in Mobile, AL; a $600 milllion project called Brookley Aeroplex expected to create 1,000 jobs.

Officials for the Europe-based manufacturer attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the project in the Gulf Coast community yesterday.

“It represents the real transformation of Airbus into a truly global company,” said Airbus President and CEO Fabrice Brégier in his remarks. “While Airbus has deep European roots, we have always seen ourselves as citizens of the world. But now, when operations begin here at this Mobile Assembly Line, we will be manufacturing aircraft in Asia, in America, and in Europe – and if you allow me not to be too humble, thanks to Mobile, AL, the sun will never set on Airbus.”

The seven-year effort to bring Airbus to Mobile will bring a plant for assembly of the industry-leading family of A319, A320 and A321 aircraft. Airbus said construction of the assembly line will begin this summer, with assembly planned to start in 2015, following by the first deliveries from the Mobile facility beginning in 2016.

“Airbus anticipates the facility will produce between 40 and 50 aircraft per year by 2018. “It has been a long road, a lot of work, but we’re elated to bring this project to reality in Mobile,” said Mobile Mayor Sam Jones. “(Airbus”) efforts have resulted in a victory for our city today and well into the future.”

The project includes two phases, development of a final assembly line where aircraft parts from around the world will be delivered to the Brookley Aeroplex site for assembly, and a delivery center similar to a showroom where assembled planes will be delivered to its new owners.

To meet the company’s aggressive plan, a number of suppliers who will need to locate near the facility. The Airbus Engineering Center at Brookley Aeroplex, with more than 200 engineers and support staff, and Airbus Military NA at Mobile Regional Airport, supporting U.S. Coast Guard aircraft, have worked on the project for six years.

The area’s economic development officials has worked on recruiting EADS North America to Mobile since 2005, including time spent on a failed bid as the site location for EADS to build tankers for the U.S. Air Force, as recently as February 2011.

Randyl Drummer, Costar News.