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Airbus’s first aircraft assembly plant in North America

Airbus Final Assembly Line

European quality, American efficiency

Airbus | USA | 2013-2015

A US $600-million facility at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley
Airbus’s first aircraft assembly plant in North America
20% less in expenditures due to engineered cost reductions

Challenges

  • A multibuilding assembly-plant campus needed to be developed at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley Field with production and infrastructure facilities to assemble and deliver the A320 series aircraft.
  • Economic, modern, high-tech aircraft assembly facilities were to be patterned on European standards defined by exacting building criteria.
  • Very demanding tolerances were to be met, for everything from super flat floors, exacting temperature and humidity levels, and the installation of unique assembly and testing jigs. 

Solutions

  • Part of program management services for the design and construction of the project.
  • Facilities included aircraft assembly buildings, hangars, supply chain warehouses, aircraft aprons and taxiways, new utility infrastructure and more.
  • Accommodate assembly and delivery capacity of four airplanes, possibly extending to eight airplanes, per month.
  • Manage, translate or show specifications and standards to be equivalent to European ones and instil these into an efficient, effective work program to suit the local construction practices.

Highlights

  • Aircraft assembly commenced in July 2015 and delivered its first completed aircraft—an A321—in April 2016 to JetBlue in the US.
  • Final assembly line (FAL) Hangar: 19,525 m2
  • Final phase hangar/flightline hangar: 9,805 m2
  • Service building (including administration offices): 2,778 m2
  • An extensive network of basements and underground utility installations was too costly, so works were redesigned to be above-ground and less expensive. 

“What counted was to be present in the United States. There are other less expensive places to build, but we feel at home here.”

Fabrice Brégier | President and CEO, Airbus

“There are efficiencies being in the US such as being in the dollar zone, and to be in key industrial areas of Europe, US, and China is part of our global strategy.”

Allan McCartor | Chairman and CEO , Airbus Group, Inc.,

Project numbers

US $600 construction cost
53 acre site area

This project was delivered under the Hatch Mott MacDonald joint venture

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