US Aerospace Manufacturers
Airbus Americas and Embraer Executive Jets both recently announced news about aircraft, designed by this European manufacturer and the Brazilian company, would now be manufactured in the US. Their locations in Alabama and Florida, respectively, create jobs and sales here.
As noted by the Commerce Department, this movement to America is expected:
“Foreign firms are attracted to the U.S. aerospace market because it is the largest in the world and has a skilled and hospitable workforce, extensive distribution systems, diverse offerings, and strong support at the local and national level for policy and promotion.”
The addition of Airbus and Embraer add to the US inventory.
The US aerospace industry exported $131.1 billion (8.7%), the third largest among others selling to overseas markets in 2015. When the value of export sales is compared to foreign aircraft imported, the US enjoyed a net surplus of $70.5 billion (2015). Historically, the US has enjoyed a very positive aerospace balance of trade.
The first A-321 rolled off of the plant in Mobile, AL and was delivered to New York-based JetBlue on April 25. The plane was dubbed the “BluesMobile.” The airlines’ CEO Robin Hayes (appropriately a Brit by birth) received his new plane by saying, “It’s been an honor to be here with Airbus throughout the process, from the announcement of the Mobile facility to its inauguration…Now, BluesMobile is part of Airbus’ illustrious history. We want to honor the skill, dedication and craftsmanship that Airbus is recognized for around the globe.”
In reply, John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer–Customers, an American, said, “I am immensely proud to be here to participate in this first delivery from Mobile…Going from breaking ground on this facility three years ago to handing over the first Alabama-produced A321 today is an amazing accomplishment.”
Embraer Executive Jets managing director and Customer COO Phil Krull explained that first Embraer Legacy that will be assembled in the U.S.—a Model 450—is expected to start rolling down the line the Melbourne, Fla. final assembly plant in about three weeks.
To be qualified to work on the airplanes, 25 Melbourne employees are now halfway through four weeks of training at the Legacy 450/500 production line in São José dos Campos. Krull, recognizing the need for care, indicate that the Legacy assembly will start out slowly.
The first Legacy 450 built there won’t be delivered until mid-December. Two Legacy 450s will first be assembled at the facility, followed by two 500s. After that, this mix will be determined by customer demand, he said. The facility will be able to assemble up to 96 Phenom’s and 72 Legacy’s annually.
There are three other main elements to the expansion project: a new paint facility that can accommodate the Legacy 450/500, a completion center/flight-prep building and a new dedicated delivery center for the Legacy jets. The completion center/flight-prep building is attached to the final assembly facility and will also be finished next month. Structures are currently being raised for the other two buildings, which will be opened later this year.
Boeing has outsourced parts and assemblies in a number of countries as well as diversifying its US locations—Washington, its original home and other states, most recently, South Carolina. Globalization is a standard practice for the aerospace industry.
The US once dominated the world of aircraft development and manufacturing; its aerospace exports helped our economy. Now foreign OEMs are locating within our shores for our workforce.