Alabama Plant Expansion Impacts Global Supply Chain

United Technologies (UTC) Logos

Aug 25, 2017

UTC Aerospace Systems recently unveiled an 80,000-square-foot expansion to their Foley, Alabama facility. The expansion will bring 260 new jobs to the area and support UTC’s partnership with aircraft manufacturer Airbus and the New Engine Option (NEO) program. The NEO models are designed to provide greater fuel efficiency than previous generations of aircraft engines.

The engines will be shipped to Airbus’ facility in Mobile, as well as Toulouse, France and Hamburg, Germany. This makes the small town of 17,000 people a vital link in the global aerospace supply chain. With more fuel-efficient engines having a direct impact on the operating costs of commercial and military jets, the products made at this facility could offer tremendous competitive advantages for UTC and Airbus.

Additionally, with players like UTC and Airbus expanding their operations, it could help Alabama grow its already thriving aerospace manufacturing base. The state hosts more than 300 companies within this sector, employing more than 12,000 workers and exporting nearly $1.5 billion in aerospace equipment and parts annually.

UTC's plant in Foley has been in place since the mid-1980s. Its specialties include building and installing components, such as cowls, that wrap around and house jet engines. They simultaneously insulate engines from debris while providing a more self-contained environment for inspection and maintenance.

The plant also refurbishes jet components and helps build additional engines used at the Mobile facility. In addition to Airbus, components at the facility help support a number of other aerospace companies in the U.S. and abroad. The new hires will bring total employment at the Foley plant to over 1,000.