Monday, March 31, 2014

Contract: Raytheon, $7.6M

Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., has been awarded a $7,631,396 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification (P00028) to contract FA8675-11-C-0030 for production cut-in of an Advanced Range Telemetry (ARTM) transmitter into the AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile. The contract modification facilitates the cut-in of an advanced range telemetry transmitter into future production; including updates to all test equipment and technical documentation, approval from the test and safety community, as well as necessary updates to the depot repair infrastructure. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., and is expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2015. Fiscal 2013 Air Force procurement funds in the amount $6,431,396 and fiscal 2013 Navy procurement funds in the amount of $1,200,000 will be obligated at award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/EBAK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 03/31/14)

Test begins on third AEHF

The third Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite has begun transmitting using its protected communications payload, joining two other satellites undergoing system test in orbit with a suite of user terminals. AEHF satellites are produced by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Air Force. Launched on Sept. 18, 2013, AEHF-3 arrived in its final orbit position and began transmissions in January. (Source: SpaceWar.com, 03/31/14) Previous Gulf Coast note: Core propulsion system work on the AEHF is done at Stennis Space Center, Miss.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Base wants to be equipment hub

CAMP SHELBY, Miss. – The Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center south of Hattiesburg, along with the state port at Gulfport, are being considered as a depot for the return, redeployment and disposal of military equipment from Afghanistan. The National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research and Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison signed an agreement with Camp Shelby Joint Training Center to help military planners understand the capabilities after researchers assessed the logistics potential and cost savings. According to Army officials, the Defense Department will spend $7 billion to ship nearly 750,000 pieces of equipment worth $36 billion as combat operations come to an end in 2014. (Sources: Camp Shelby, 03/27/14, Hattiesburg American, 03/27/14, Sun Herald, 03/28/14 ) Camp Shelby is 135,000 acres and has been used as a staging area to mobilize and demobilize troops. In addition, South Mississippi is home of the Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, the East Coast Seabees. That base is a “readiness center” that stores and ships equipment worldwide. Warehouses are spread over 500 acres. The base is near an international airport, seaport, two interstates and rail systems.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Contract: Kaman, $41.6M

Kaman Precision Products Inc., Orlando, Fla., has been awarded a $41,634,163 modification (P00012) to firm-fixed-price contract FA8681-13-C-0029 for Lot 11 production of Joint Programmable Fuze systems. The contract modification provides for the exercise of an option for an additional quantity of 10,001 state-of-the-art fuze systems being produced under the basic contract. The location of performance is Orlando, Fla., and work is expected to be completed by April 2016. Fiscal 2013 procurement funds in the amount of $1,519,495; fiscal 2014 procurement funds in the amount of $36,280,545 and fiscal 2014 overseas contingency operations funds in the amount of $3,834,123 will be obligated at award. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/EBDK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 03/28/14)

Contract: Cubic, $6.9M

Cubic Defense Applications Inc., San Diego, Calif., has been awarded a $6,883,316 firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee and cost contract for the procurement of P5 Combat Training System (P5CTS) Depot follow-on CLS. The P5CTS consists of the airborne subsystem, or "pod" and the ground subsystem. The contract is for CLS for the procurement of supply chain/inventory management spares replenishment; repair and overhaul; demilitarization and disposal; systems/sustaining engineering and system integration. The location of performance is San Diego, Calif., for the ground subsystem and Fort Walton Beach, Fla., for the airborne subsystem. The work is expected to be complete by March 5, 2015. Fiscal 2014 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $6,883,316 are being obligated at award. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/EBYK, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity (FA8678-14-C-0005). (Source: DoD, 03/28/14)

BRAC a growth opportunity?

The Army's Fort Rucker stands to gain missions during any future round of base closings. That's according to Rod Wolfe, a retired brigadier general who is a member of Friends of Fort Rucker. Wolfe, who also serves on Alabama's Military Stability Commission, points out that the base in Southeast Alabama near Dothan has an array of assets that could allow it to benefit from the next Base Realignment and Closure round. He said it would cost millions to relocate the helicopter training facility. Besides, there's room to grow. The base has 63,000 acres of space and 5,000 are used. The post also 32,000 square miles of available air space, access to a highly trained workforce and is located in a region with a low cost of living. (Source: Southeast Sun, 03/26/14) The Navy trains helicopter pilots in the Florida Panhandle at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, in Milton, Fla.

China, Airbus ink deal

China signed a 10-year deal allowing Airbus to continue to assemble A320 planes at a plant in Tianjin until 2025, and also unblocked orders for larger jets worth more than $6 billion. Chinese officials in Paris also signed deals to co-produce 1,000 French EC-175 helicopters over 20 years with Airbus Group's helicopter division and to co-operate on turbo-prop engines with France's Safran. The A330 orders had been suspended during a trade row. With the agreement, Airbus will supply China’s state-owned purchasing agency with a total of 70 planes, including 27 long-haul A330s and 43 single-aisle A320 family aircraft. (Sources: Reuters, Airbus, 03/26/14) Previous. Gulf Coast note: Airbus will build A320s in Mobile, Ala., beginning in 2016.

ANA orders Boeing, Airbus

Japan's ANA Holding Inc. ordered 14 more 787 Dreamliners as part of a $16.6 billion package despite previous groundings of the composite jetliner. ANA's 70-plane purchase included 40 long-haul models from Boeing and 30 narrow-body jets from Airbus, and represents the largest buy in the Japanese carrier’s history. The order from Airbus is for seven A320neo and 23 A321neo aircraft. The jets are being delivered over 11 years and will increase ANA's fleet to 250. (Sources: Bloomberg, AP via CBSMoneyWatch, 03/27/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Continental, ASI to build F406

MOBILE, Ala. – Continental Motors is partnering with ASI Innovation of France to bring the 14-passenger Reims-Cessna F406 Caravan II back into production. The team acquired from insolvency the type certificate, inventory and manufacturing rights from Reims Aviation of France. The plane, first introduced in 1983, can fill multiple roles, including passenger, cargo and mixed uses. Under the original ownership, 85 planes were built. Once production resumes, buyers can equip an F406 with a Pratt & Whitney PT6 or Continental Motors piston engine. Continental Motors, a subsidiary of AVIC International Holding Co. of Beijing, China, has been providing aircraft engines for more than 80 years. In addition to Continental Motors in Mobile, the company also includes Continental Motors Beijing, Technify Motors, Germany, as well as Mattituck Services Inc. and Zulu Flight Training in Alabama. (Sources: Continental Motors, 03/25/14, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, 03/26/14, Flying, 03/27/14)

Crosswind runway delayed

PANAMA CITY, Fla. -- Airport Authority board members Wednesday halted plans for a $17 million federally approved crosswind runway at Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP), citing financial restraints. The airport in West Bay paying its $2 million to $3 million share of the crosswind runway project would put ECP's financial status in jeopardy, airport board officials said. The crosswind runway would provide better wind coverage for smaller aircraft. The airport's current runway doesn’t meet Federal Aviation Administration's wind coverage requirement for smaller general aviation aircraft. "We're just not going to jeopardize the financial end of the airport with this right now," said John Pilcher, board chairman. "We're just going to have to put this on hold right now and figure out other ways to fund this thing." (Source: News Herald, 03/26/14)

Contract: Rolls-Royce, $107M

Rolls-Royce Corp., Indianapolis, Ind., is being awarded a $106,999,970 undefinitized contract action to provide intermediate, depot level maintenance and related logistics support for approximately 223 in-service T-45 F405-RR-401 Adour engines. Work will be performed at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian, Miss (47 percent); NAS Kingsville, Texas (46 percent); NAS Pensacola, Fla. (6 percent); and NAS Patuxent River, Md. (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in March 2015. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-14-D-0016). (Source: DoD, 03/27/14)

Contract: Lockheed, $52.1M

Lockheed Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $52,141,562 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-02-C-3002) to execute phase 3 of the Joint Strike Fighter Autonomics Logistics Information System (ALIS) Standard Operating Unit Version 2 (SOUv2) capability development effort. Phase 3 includes integration of the SOUv2 with the ALIS sustainment system and the F-35 air system. Work will be performed in Orlando, Fla. (70 percent) and Fort Worth, Texas (30 percent), and is expected to be completed in August 2015. Fiscal 2013 research, development, test and evaluation, Air Force ($9,067,217) and fiscal 2014 research, development, test and evaluation Navy ($14,396,512) and Marine Corps ($14,309,644) funds in the amount of $37,773,373 will be obligated at time of award, $9,067,217 of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 03/27/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the F-35 training center.

Contract: Joint venture, $45.5M

Guam MACC Builders A Joint Venture, Honolulu, Hawaii, is being awarded $45,450,600 for firm-fixed-price task order 0003 under a previously awarded multiple award construction contract (N62742-10-D-1309) for the design and construction of a high bay maintenance hangar to support forward operations and maintenance functions for the Unmanned Aircraft System MQ-4C Broad Area Maritime Surveillance platform at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The MQ-4C (Triton) requires interior and enclosed maintenance space to accomplish scheduled inspections, airframe repairs, pre- and post-flight operations, as well as technical order compliance and aircraft modifications. The task order also contains two unexercised options, which if exercised would increase cumulative task order value to $46,719,102. Work will be performed in Yigo, Guam, and is expected to be completed by April 2016. Fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2014 military construction, Navy and fiscal 2014 other procurement, Navy contract funds in the amount of $45,450,600 are obligated on this award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Pacific, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 03/27/14) Gulf Coast note: Tritons are build in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Engine tests brought to schools

LONG BEACH, Miss. – Stennis Space Center, NASA's premiere rocket engine test facility, launched a program Wednesday to beam engine tests into some schools in Mississippi and Louisiana. The program will use technology that will allow students to watch a live stream of engine testing at Stennis, including the J-2X, an engine that's part of NASA's Space Launch System program. Through the virtual visit, NASA scientists and engineers will also appear on the screen to answer student's questions. (Source: WLOX-TV, 03/26/14)

Counties among fastest growing

Four counties in the Gulf Coast I-10 aerospace region were among the fastest growing counties in the nation between 2012 and 2013, according to new figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. In Louisiana, St. Bernard Parish, part of the New Orleans-Metairie metro area, was 6th fastest growing (4.6 percent), while Orleans Parish, also part of the New Orleans MSA, was 72nd fastest growing (2.4 percent). In Florida, Walton County, part of the two-county Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin MSA, was 16th fastest growing (3.8 percent). In Alabama, Baldwin County, which makes up the one-county Daphne-Fairhope-Foley MSA, was 55th fastest growing (2.6 percent). In addition, over the period between 2010 and 2013, six counties in the aerospace region were among the 100 fastest growing: St. Bernard Parish, No. 2 (21.1 percent); Orleans Parish, No. 26 (10.1 percent); Walton County, No. 49 (8.7 percent); Baldwin County, No. 68 (7.3 percent); Okaloosa County (Fla.), No. 70 (7.2 percent); and Santa Rosa (Fla.), No. 98 (6.4 percent). (Source: GCAC, 03/27/14) Related

Daphne among fastest growing

Two metropolitan areas in the Gulf Coast aerospace region were among the fastest growing in the nation between 2012 and 2013, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. Alabama's Daphne-Fairhope-Foley MSA, with an estimated population of 195,540, had a population increase of 2.6 percent during the one-year period, 9th largest among 390 metro areas. The Daphne-Fairhope-Foley MSA includes all of Baldwin County. In Florida, the Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin MSA, with an estimated population of 253,618, had a population increase of 2.3 percent, 15th fastest in the nation. The Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin MSA includes all of Okaloosa and Walton counties. (Source: GCAC, 03/27/14) Related followup

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Contract: UT, $10.2M

United Technologies, Pratt & Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, Conn., is being awarded a $10,242,104 modification to a previously awarded advance acquisition contract (N00019-13-C-0016) for long-lead components, parts and materials associated with the low rate initial production Lot VIII of eight F135 conventional take off and landing propulsion systems for the governments of Japan (6) and Israel (2). F135 engines power F-35 fighters. Work will be performed in East Hartford, Conn. (67 percent); Bristol, United Kingdom (16.5 percent); and Indianapolis, Ind. (16.5 percent), and is expected to be completed in September 2016. Foreign military sales funds in the amount of $10,242,104 are being obligated on this award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract combines purchases for the governments of Japan; (75 percent); and Israel (25 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 03/26/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the F-35 training center.

Contract: L-3 Vertex, $58.4M

L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, Madison, Miss., is being awarded a $58,488,748 indefinite-delivery, requirements contract to provide logistics services and materials for organizational, intermediate, and depot level maintenance required to support T45TS aircraft based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian, Miss.; NAS Kingsville, Texas; and NAS Pensacola, Fla. This requirement also includes the support and maintenance of the T-45 aircraft at all operational sites, numerous outlying fields, and various detachment sites. Work will be performed in Kingsville, Texas (58 percent); Meridian, Miss. (36 percent); and Pensacola, Fla. (6 percent), and is expected to be completed in July 2014. Contract funds will not be obligated at time of award. Funds will be obligated on individual delivery orders as they are issued. This contract was not competitively procured pursuant to FAR 6.302-1. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-14-D-0019). (Source: DoD, 03/26/14)

Contracts: Multiple, $28M

CasePro Inc., San Antonio, Texas (N62645-14-D-5003); Catalyst Professional Services Inc., Colorado Springs, Colo. (N62645-14-D-5004); Cherokee Medical Services LLC, Stillwell, Okla. (N62645-14-D-5005); Chesapeake Educational Services LLC, Vienna, Va. (N62645-14-D-5006); OMV Medical Inc., Takoma Park, Md. (N62645-14-D-5007); Professional Performance Development Group Inc., San Antonio, Texas (N62645-14-D-5008); Saratoga Medical Center Inc., Fairfax, Va. (N62645-14-D-5009); TCMP Staffing Services LLC, Springfield, Va. (N62645-14-D-5010) are each being awarded a nine-month, firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, multiple-award task order bridge contract to continue extending physician, allied health, nursing, technologist, technician and assistant services currently being provided in support of the Naval Hospital Jacksonville, Fla.; Naval Health Clinic Pensacola, Fla.; Naval Health Clinic Corpus Christi, Texas, and their affiliated clinics within Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. The aggregate not-to-exceed amount for these multiple award contracts combined is $28,000,000. Work will be performed in Jacksonville, Fla. (46 percent); Pensacola, Fla. (44 percent); Corpus Christi, Texas (10 percent) and affiliated clinics within Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas, and work is expected to be completed January 31, 2015. The Naval Medical Logistics Command, Fort Detrick, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 03/26/14)

Mobile hosts aero conference

MOBILE, Ala. -- Aerospace industry manufacturers and suppliers will come together next week at the SpeedNews Second Annual Aerospace Manufacturing Conference April 1-2 in Mobile. Held at the Battle House Renaissance in downtown Mobile, the event is designed to address manufacturing capabilities and processes, best practices, innovations, automation, industry trends and forecasts. Featured speakers include representatives from Airbus Americas, Boeing, Dassault Systems, GKN Aerospace and others. The event also features appearances by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley and Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson. As part of the conference, delegates will be able to tour area aerospace facilities, including UTC Aerospace in Foley, ST Aerospace at the Mobile Aeroplex and the Airbus final assembly line under construction at the Aeroplex. Aviation Week's Civil Aviation Manufacturing Conference has been incorporated into the SpeedNews conference. (Source: PRNewswire, 03/26/14, SpeedNews)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dream Chaser work showcased

NEW ORLEANS -- Sierra Nevada and Lockheed Martin gave a tour of the Michoud Assembly Facility where work is under way on composite structures for the Dream Chaser crew vehicle. Dream Chaser, designed to carry a crew of seven along with cargo to the International Space Station, looks like a small Space Shuttle. Part of NASA's program to turn over low-Earth orbit missions to private companies, Dream Chaser's first unmanned flight is scheduled for 2016. MAF is where a majority of the composite parts for the vessel, including cabin support structures and wings, is being manufactured. Final assembly will be at a Lockheed Martin facility in Fort Worth, Texas. Lockheed Martin is also working on NASA's Orion space capsule at MAF. Fifteen Lockheed Martin workers are involved in Dream Chaser, 124 in Orion and another 20 or involved in building two massive liquefied natural gas tanks. (Sources: nola.com, WGNO-TV, AP via Wichita Eagle, 03/25/14) Previous: Dream Chaser has landing snafu; Spacecraft has captive carry test; Dream Chaser tests under way; LM joins Dream Chaser team

F-35 may go to Farnborough, RAIT

WASHINGTON -- The Defense Department is set to approve the first trans-Atlantic flight of the F-35 fighter jet in July when the warplane is expected to take part in two international air shows near London. Multiple sources say Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is close to a decision that would allow two or three F-35s to fly at the Royal International Air Tattoo, or RIAT, an annual military air show, and the Farnborough air show held every two years. Britain, which contributed $2 billion to the F-35 development and plans to buy 138 F-35s in coming years, asked for the jet's participation to help showcase the increasing maturity of the new radar-evading plane. Participating in the international air shows will allow the F-35 program to carry out additional training and learn how the plane's logistics, maintenance, aerial refueling, and security systems work overseas, the sources said. Lockheed is the main contractor, with Northrop Grumman and Britain's BAE Systems the biggest suppliers. Pratt & Whitney builds the engine that powers the plane, and Rolls Royce Group builds the lift fan that enables the B-model of the F-35 to land like a helicopter. (Source: Reuters, 03/25/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 training center.

Contract: Lockheed, $698M

Lockheed Martin Corp., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $698,032,385 fixed-price-incentive, firm target, advanced acquisition contract to procure long lead parts, materials and components in support of 57 Low Rate Initial Production Lot IX F-35 fighters, including: 26 F-35A Conventional Takeoff and Landing (CTOL) aircraft for the Air Force; six F-35B Short Takeoff Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft for the Marine Corps; two F-35C Carrier Variant aircraft for the Navy; six F-35A CTOL aircraft for the government of Norway; one F-35A CTOL for the government of Italy; seven F-35A CTOL aircraft for the government of Israel; two CTOL aircraft for the government of Japan; six F-35B STOVL for the United Kingdom, and one F-35B STOVL aircraft for the government of Italy. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas, and is expected to be completed in May 2015. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-14-C-0002). (Source: DoD, 03/25/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 training center.

Initial flight tests of Triton done

SAN DIEGO -- Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy successfully completed the first major milestone of the Triton unmanned aircraft system flight test program, clearing the aircraft to fly at various altitudes, speeds and weights. During the test program, known as initial envelope expansion, the team validated more than 568 test points. The flights took place at the company's manufacturing facility in Palmdale, Calif. The Navy plans to build 68 Tritons that will be used with the manned P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to conduct persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions across vast ocean and coastal regions. (Source: Northrop Grumman via PRNewswire, 03/24/14) Gulf Coast note: Central fuselage work on Tritons is done in Moss Point, Miss.

Monday, March 24, 2014

S. Korea buying F-35s, Global Hawks

SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea expects to pay around $6.79 billion for 40 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Monday as Seoul boosts its air defenses amid simmering tensions in the region. South Korea also confirmed plans to buy four Northrop Grumman Global Hawk unmanned aircraft for $814.63 million to monitor North Korea. The drones will be delivered starting 2018, one of the sources said. (Source: Reuters, Lockheed Martin, 03/24/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the F-35 training center; Global Hawks are built in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Data caught in Sensor Week

Sensor used to collect multispectral imagery
Air Force photo
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- More than 50 organizations nationwide gathered on the Eglin range March 3 to 14 for a cost-shared, data collection event known as Sensor Week. They came to test their electro-optical, infrared and radio frequency sensors and equipment against operationally-representative targets. Sensor Week is an Air Combat Command sponsored cost-shared opportunity between the government and interested participants. Customers come to Sensor Week to measure seeker/sensor data using their equipment on various scenarios such as ground threat vehicles or improvised explosive device scenarios. Customers get realistic scenarios to test sensors and tactics, including maritime operations in local waters, ground-based transport and attack maneuvers and up to 10 daily air operations using 15 different aircraft ranging from the F-15 Eagle and F-35 Lightning II to the Cessna 208. (Source: Team Eglin Public Affairs, 03/24/14)

Blue Angels back home

PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Blue Angels flight demonstration team returned home to Naval Air Station Pensacola Monday afternoon from their winter home in California. The Navy team has a full show schedule this year, including a July show before the hometown crowd at Pensacola Beach. Last year the air show season was barely underway when sequestration grounded the demonstration team. The team members and their distinctive blue and gold F/A-18 Hornets have already had two shows in California. The team's show season lasts until November and includes a season-ending show at NAS Pensacola. (Source: WEAR-TV, WALA-TV, Pensacola News Journal, 03/24/14)

Tiger orders A320neo jets

Tiger Airways, the budget carrier partly owned by Singapore Airlines, ordered 37 Airbus Group jetliners, canceling some existing orders as it opts for more fuel-efficient models. The order for single-aisle A320neo planes is valued at $3.8 billion and is for delivery between 2018 and 2025, the airline said in a statement to the Singapore stock exchange Monday. Manufacturers typically give discounts on list prices. The carrier has the option to increase the order by up to 13 aircraft and also to convert the model to a bigger variant. (Source: Bloomberg via Sydney Morning Herald, Reuters, 03/24/14) Gulf Coast note: To meet high worldwide demand, Airbus is building its fourth A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala., that will open in 2015 and produce its first plane in 2016.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Deal inked for airport concessions

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Mayor Ashton Hayward signed a 10-year contact Friday with Missouri-based OHM Concessions Group to provide food and beverage services at Pensacola International Airport. The action follows the mayor's veto Tuesday of the council’s recent decision to extend the current airport concession contract with Robert de Varona. Varona Enterprises has had the food and beverage concession at the airport for more than two decades. Hayward said the council did not have the legal authority to extend de Varona's contract. The deal with OHM provides more money to the airport than the competing bid. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 03/21/14)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Airbus French public's favorite

Airbus has been voted "most attractive company" by the French general public in 2014, according to the fifth Randstad Awards survey in France. Airbus has a strong employer brand image and excellent reputation: 67 percent of respondents declared that they would like to work for the planemaker. Interesting job content, career development opportunities, high quality training and dynamic management are Airbus’ main assets according to this survey. The online survey was carried out in November 2013, with a panel of 12,000 people aged between 18 and 65. Airbus won the number one place out of some 250 companies. Airbus employs 61,000 people in design and manufacturing facilities in France, Germany, the UK and Spain, as well as subsidiaries in the U.S., China, Japan, the Middle East and India. The company's newest A320 final assembly line is being built in Mobile, Ala. (Source: Airbus, 03/21/14)

F-35 night training starts soon

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Pilots will begin training at night in the F-35 fighter for the first time, perhaps as early as next week. Nine of the F-35s are equipped for use in training pilots to navigate at night. Takeoff would be about 8 p.m. and flights would last about an hour. Air Force Lt. Col. Eric Smith, commander of the 33rd Fighter Wing's operations support squadron, said they will use the same flight paths as they do during the day and that residents typically are out of earshot. (Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, 03/21/14)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Union eyes Boeing, Airbus plants

The International Association of Machinists has opened twin organizing offices in the South, determined that neither Boeing nor Airbus should operate non-union factories there. Tom Buffenbarger, president of the union in Washington, D.C., said the Machinists are working to organize Boeing's factory in North Charleston, S.C., and the new Airbus plant in Mobile, Ala. “Airbus has arrived, topped off the plant in Mobile, is now advertising for a skilled work force. They’re off and running,” he said. “We want to level the playing field, so these companies can compete on a level perspective, and that’s what serves our members best in Puget Sound.” (Source: Puget Sound Business Journal, 03/19/14)

China to buy 150 Airbus jets

Airbus Group is poised to win a Chinese order of at least 150 jetliners worth $20 billion, people with knowledge of the deal said. The buy is expected to be announced on March 26 when a Chinese state delegation visits Europe. The agreement includes long-haul A330s and A350s and a large number of single-aisle A320neos, sources said. China will supplant the U.S. as Airbus's biggest single market within 20 years. Airbus and China are also in talks to open a second plant in China. The "cabin completion" plant for A330s would bolster the Airbus presence five years after the opening of its first final assembly plant outside Europe in the port city of Tianjin, where Chinese workers put together A320 jets. (Sources: Reuters, Bloomberg, 03/19/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala., that will open in 2015.

Buyer sees supply chain risk

SAN DIEGO -- Boeing and Airbus risk over-stressing the aerospace supply chain as they ramp up plane production to unprecedented levels to meet strong demand. That's according to Steven Udvar-Hazy, one of the world's most influential plane buyers. Udvar-Hazy, chief executive of Air Lease Corp, a major customer in the $110 billion global passenger aircraft business, said Tuesday that the pressure of production acceleration could cause problems at the lower end of the supply chain. "I'm less concerned about Boeing and Airbus assembling the airplanes," he told Reuters during the annual ISTAT air leasing conference in San Diego. "As you go down the supply chain, hundreds of suppliers, small suppliers, can they keep up with 100 single-aisle aircraft a month? That's a big concern of ours, because a little guy can slip up and then it holds up everything." Airbus recently said it will lift production of its single-aisle A320 planes by nearly 10 percent, matching a similar move by Boeing. Both companies also are building many of their double-aisle planes at faster rates. By 2017, Boeing and Airbus will be churning out 138 new jetliners a month. (Source: Reuters, 03/18/14) Gulf Coast note: To help meet demand, the new Airbus A320 final assembly line will open in Mobile, Ala., next year.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Final assembly of A320neo begins

Airbus started final assembly of the first A320neo in Toulouse, France, with the attachment of the forward and aft fuselage sections which recently arrived from St. Nazaire, France, and Hamburg, Germany, respectively. The next step is to join the wing to fuselage. It takes about a month to complete the final assembly of an A320. On average, every seven hours an A320 family aircraft leaves one of the three final assembly sites, in Toulouse, Hamburg or Tianjin, China. The first flight of the A320neo is to take place in the fourth quarter 2014 with first delivery about a year later. Airbus claims an order count of 2,600 A320neos from 50 customers since its launch in 2010. (Sources: Airbus, AIN, 03/17/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building its fourth A320 final assembly line in Mobile, Ala.

Italy may trim F-35 buy again

Italy could cut its planned order of 90 F-35 fighters as part an effort to trim its defense budget and other spending. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said late Sunday that Italy would try to reduce its defense budget by $4.2 billion over the next three years by taking measures like closing barracks and cutting the F-35 purchases, according to Reuters. The threat of cuts to international orders from Italy and others risks driving the price of Lockheed Martin's F-35 further upward. Italy has already reduced its F-35 order to 90 from 131 planes. (Source: The Hill, 03/17/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 training center.

Commander picked for AFSOC

Air Force Lt. Gen. Bradley A. Heithold has been nominated for become commander of the Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Fla. Heithold is currently serving as the vice commander, U.S. Special Operations Command, Pentagon, Washington, D.C. If confirmed, Heithold would replace Lt. Gen. Eric Fiel, who has commanded AFSOC since 2011. (Source: DoD, 03/18/14)

Contract: Lockheed, $50.7M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $50,737,476 cost-plus-incentive-fee, firm-fixed-price contract for non-recurring efforts and integration tasks in support of the development of Japan's F-35A Conventional Take-Off and Landing Air System, which is comprised of the Air Vehicle and the Autonomic Logistics Global Sustainment System. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (61 percent); Orlando, Fla. (17 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (10 percent); San Diego, Calif. (8 percent); Baltimore, Md. (3 percent) and Melbourne, Fla. (1 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2017. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity (N00019-14-C-0040). (Source: DoD, 03/18/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 training center.

Contract: Lockheed, $65.3M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $65,280,712 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee contract (N00019-02-C-3002) for non-recurring efforts for the development of a Common F-35A Conventional Take-Off and Landing Air System comprised of the Air Vehicle and the Autonomic Logistics Global Sustainment System for the governments of Japan and Israel. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (44 percent); San Diego, Calif. (26 percent); Baltimore, Md. (25 percent) and El Segundo, Calif. (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2017. This modification combines purchases for the governments of Japan (50 percent) and Israel (50 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 03/18/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 training center.

Contract: Lockheed, $118.9M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded an $118,875,655 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00019-12-C-0004) for the repair and replenishment of government-owned F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft assets. These JSF aircraft assets include spare parts on JSF jets, training devices, support equipment and Autonomic Logistics Information System equipment. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (35 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (25 percent); Warton, United Kingdom (20 percent); Orlando, Fla. (10 percent); Nashua, N.H. (5 percent); and Baltimore, Md. (5 percent), and is expected to be completed in October 2014. This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Air Force (43.7 percent), U.S. Marine Corps (36.8 percent), the U.S. Navy (13.3 percent); and the governments of the United Kingdom (4.9 percent); the Netherlands (1.3 percent). The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 03/18/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 training center.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Airport OKs 20-year plan

PANAMA CITY, Fla. – The Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) Board of Directors approved moving forward with further development of a 20-year, $33.6 million expansion plane. Improvements projects will be carried out in phases as passenger activity increases throughout the next 20 years and beyond. "This plan allows our staff the flexibility to move forward as demand increases and scale back expansion when the numbers don't support growth," said ECP Executive Director Parker W. McClellan Jr. (Source: Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, 03/17/14)

Orion test flight delayed

The first test flight of NASA's Orion crew exploration vehicle has been delayed to early December to accommodate a U.S. military payload in United Launch Alliance's Delta 4 launch manifest. The unmanned Orion test flight was scheduled for launch in September or October aboard a Delta 4-Heavy rocket. Orion is designed to carry astronauts on expeditions beyond low Earth orbit aboard the Space Launch System, a government-owned heavy-lift launcher set to debut by the end of 2017. The Orion test flight, known as Exploration Flight Test-1, will prove many of the spacecraft's key systems, including the capsule's 16.4-foot-diameter ablative heat shield. The first crewed Orion mission is scheduled for launch on the second Space Launch System flight in 2021. (Source: Spaceflight Now, 03/15/14) Gulf Coast note: Stennis Space Center, Miss., tests engines for the SLS; Orion and the core stage of SLS are built at Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans

AF pressing for Space Fence

The Air Force is pressing ahead with funding and intense support from Congress for the "Space Fence" system to track debris in low-Earth orbit, following delays and cutbacks driven by sequestration. The S-Band radar, commonly called Space Fence, is built to track objects in orbit that are smaller than satellites. Gen. William Shelton, commander of Air Force Space Command, has said the program is critical to the health of military and commercial satellites. It will replace the Air Force Space Surveillance System of VHF radars in place across the southern U.S. Those radars are not capable of tracking objects smaller than 10 centimeters. The Obama administration's fiscal 2015 budget request includes about $214 million for research and development for the Space Fence. When part of the network was shut down due to budget cuts, the Space Command modified operating modes for some of its other space tracking assets, specifically the Perimeter Acquisition Radar Characterization System at Cavalier Air Force Station in North Dakota and the space surveillance radar at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: Air Force Times, 03/15/14) Previous: Space Fence shutting down?; Space observation plan working

Friday, March 14, 2014

Australia to buy Tritons

The Australian government has announced its intention to buy the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton unmanned surveillance system, the first foreign customer for the maritime variant of the Global Hawk. Prime minister Tony Abbott made the announcement on March 13 at the Royal Australian Air Force's Edinburgh base north of Adelaide. No introduction date or number of Triton airframes to be acquired has been announced yet. It is believed that between six and eight Tritons will be required. (Source: Flightglobal, 03/13/14) Gulf Coast note: Triton is made in part in Moss Point, Miss.

Planemakers up India forecasts

Airbus and Boeing have revised their 20-year market outlook for India, stating that the country will see more aircraft sales until 2032 than what they had estimated in 2012. Airbus says that between 2012 and 2032 India would need 1,290 aircraft valued at $190 billion. In 2012, its prediction for 2012-2032 was for 1,045 planes at $145 billion. Boeing’s outlook says that between 2013 and 2032 Indian airlines will buy 1,600 aircraft valued $205 billion. Last year, Boeing had predicted that in the same period India would need 1,450 planes valued at $175 billion. (Source: The Economic Times, 03/14/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 assembly line in Mobile, Ala.

Textron, Beechcraft deal closes

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Textron Inc. today announced it has closed its acquisition of Beech Holdings LLC, parent of Beechcraft Corp. It will bring together its Textron's Cessna business and Beechcraft to form a new segment called Textron Aviation. Cessna and Beechcraft together produced about $4.6 billion in revenues during 2013. The acquisition brings together Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker, with a combined customer base of more than 250,000 airplanes worldwide. (Source: Business Wire, 03/14/14) Previous

Thursday, March 13, 2014

ST Aero ops topic of meet

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- CareerSource Escarosa will be hosting a free information and recruitment session March 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for individuals looking to learn more about career opportunities with ST Aerospace Mobile. Those with qualifications will have access to ST Aerospace's human resources staff, who will be on site to answer questions regarding current employment opportunities in Mobile, Ala. Openings are available for aircraft maintenance inspectors, avionics mechanics, structure/sheet metal mechanics, and interiors mechanics. Representatives from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, George Stone Technical Center and Pensacola State College will also be on site for those who may need to acquire skills for future employment. The effort is in collaboration with the Greater Pensacola Chamber, Naval Air Station Pensacola Fleet and Family Support Center, the City of Pensacola, Escambia County, Pensacola State College and other community partners. The free event is at the Thomas G. Delano Student Center at Pensacola State College. (Source: Greater Pensacola Chamber, 03/13/14) In addition to the Mobile operation, ST Aerospace is working on establishing an operation at Pensacola International Airport.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Airbus FAL has topping out

MOBILE, Ala. – The Airbus final assembly line being built at Mobile Aeroplex celebrated a milestone Wednesday with a topping ceremony for the main hangar. A 21-foot steel structure built by Dothan's Covenant Steel was ceremoniously installed as the highest structural element of the A320 final assembly line. The plant, Airbus' fourth final assembly line for the popular A320 and the only one in the United States, will employ 1,000 workers. It's scheduled to open in 2015 and the first A320 will roll out in 2016. (Sources: al.com, WKRG-TV, 03/12/14)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

More Airbus jobs posted

MOBILE, Ala. – Airbus posted two new positions for its A320 final assembly line being built at the Mobile Aeroplex. The first posting is for a ground test inspector, which will pay between $18 and $30 per hour based on skills, experience and education. The second posting is for a manufacturing engineer paint coordinator. That position requires a professional degree in aerospace, industrial, mechanical or chemical engineering, preferably in the aviation field. The $600 million operation will eventually have 1,000 workers. For all available positions, click here. (Source: al.com, 03/11/14)

IHMC display simplifies flying

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- David Still wanted to fly. The only problem was learning all those dials, gauges, buttons and other confusing array of controls involved in flight. “I found it totally frustrating and difficult,” said the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition research scientist. He did get his private pilot’s license, but it also drove him to develop a new type of aircraft display. And pilots that have used it fly better, one study showed. (Source: Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor newsletter, 03/11/14)

Moss Point riding leading edge

MOSS POINT, Miss. -- If you want an industry firmly entrenched in the future, it's hard to pick one better than unmanned systems. It's on track to grow dramatically. And if you want a leader in the field, Northrop Grumman is at the front of the high-tech pack. Moss Point since 2006 has been in the enviable position of being involved in building some of the most capable unmanned aerial systems in the world. (Source: Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor newsletter, 03/11/14)

Airport positioned well for niche

CRESTVIEW, Fla. -- It's been described as a place where airplanes go to die. True, but most of the aircraft that come to Bob Sikes Airport in Northwest Florida's Crestview get refurbished or modified with the latest military gear and leave more capable than when they arrived. The airport is close to four military bases and has managed to carve a niche for itself. (Source: Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor newsletter, 03/11/14)

Mobile still on the prowl

MOBILE, Ala. -- You might think landing an Airbus jetliner plant would be enough to satisfy any economic development appetite. But you would be wrong. The folks who run the nearly 1,700-acre Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley, site of the future A320 final assembly line, are quick to point out there are still 200 acres and 850,000 square feet of building space available. And there's also space at Mobile Regional Airport. Alabama's port city is still on the prowl. (Source: Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor newsletter, 03/11/14)

Monday, March 10, 2014

NASA picks tech proposals

NASA has selected 108 research and technology proposals from U.S. small businesses that will enable NASA's future missions while benefiting America's high technology-driven economy on Earth. The selected proposals now will enter into negotiations for contract awards as part of Phase II of the agency's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. The selected aerospace technology and innovation projects have a total value of some $87 million, supporting 99 U.S. firms in 26 states. Two selected proposals involve technology being administered by the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, Miss. (Source: NASA/Stennis, 03/10/14)

Friday, March 7, 2014

ST Aero deal OK'd

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- The Escambia County Commission on Thursday pledged $8 million in local option sales tax revenue to bring an aircraft maintenance and repair facility at Pensacola International Airport. Commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of the allocation, formalized by an interlocal agreement with the city of Pensacola. The agreement was ratified last month by the Pensacola City Council. The county will loan the city $3.2 million, to be repaid by 2020, and provide a further $4.8 million in direct contributions to get ST Aerospace and 300 jobs. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 03/06/14) Previous

Contract: Lockheed, $7.7M

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a not-to-exceed $7,696,166 undefinitized modification to the previously awarded low rate initial production lot 6 advanced acquisition contract (N00019-11-C-0083) for the F-35 aircraft. This modification provides for the procurement of non-recurring sustainment activities for the government of the United Kingdom, to include procurement of site activation planning efforts for Royal Air Force Marham. Work will be performed in Warton, United Kingdom (65 percent); and Fort Worth, Texas (35 percent), and is expected to be completed in June 2014. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. (Source: DoD, 03/07/14) Gulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the F-35 training center for pilots and maintainers.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Contract: Concurrent, $15.3M

Concurrent Technologies Corp., Johnstown, Pa., was awarded a $15,338,026 cost-plus-fixed fee, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide engineering services in support of the continued modification of the carriage, stream, tow and recovery system to incorporate airborne countermeasures capabilities. The overall objectives of the carriage, stream, tow and recovery program are to design, fabricate, test and integrate a system for the carriage, stream, tow and recovery of all five airborne mine countermeasures (AMCM) sensors to support the organic AMCM mission of the MH-60S helicopter. Work will be performed in Johnstown, Pa., and is expected to be completed by March 2015. Fiscal 2014 research, development, test and evaluation and fiscal 2014 aircraft procurement, Navy funding in the amount of $5,034,148 will be obligated at time of award. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, Panama City, Fla., is the contracting activity (N61331-14-D-0010). (Awarded March 4, 2014) (Source: DoD, 03/06/14)

Contract: Arete, $10.2M

ArĂȘte Associates, Tucson, Ariz., was awarded a $10,228,983 cost-plus-fixed-fee modification to previously awarded contract (N6133-11-C-0007) for Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) Program Systems Support for the AN/DVS-1 COBRA Block 1 System and support equipment. The primary mission of AN/DVS-1 COBRA is to conduct unmanned aerial tactical reconnaissance in littoral battlespace for detection and localization of mine fields and obstacles in the surf zone and beach zone. Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz., and is expected to be completed by February 2015. Fiscal 2014 research, development, test and evaluation funding in the amount of $1,400,000 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division, Panama City, Fla., is the contracting activity. (Awarded March 5, 2014) (Source: DoD, 03/06/14)

FWB company honored

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Rick Scott recognized three businesses today with the Governor's Business Ambassador Award for their commitment in creating jobs in North Florida. One of the Ambassador Award recipients was Fort Walton Machining, a family-owned small business that provides assembly, metal finishing, and machining services to the aerospace, defense, medical, and high-tech commercial industries. Established in 1987, the company today employs 220 workers. The other two companied awarded were ShayCore Enterprises of Jacksonville and Foley Timber and Land Co. of Perry. (Source: Gov. Rick Scott, 03/06/14)

Demolition work at Duke

Cross Environmental Services Inc. has been named a subcontractor to provide demolition and remediation services of maintenance facilities at Duke Field in Okaloosa County, Fla. The March 4 subcontract announcement, valued at $148,700, is the start of a 3-phase project that requires abatement of asbestos material and the demolition of three one-story buildings. CES, headquartered in Crystal Springs, Fla., has branch offices in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and New Orleans. (Source: MarketWatch, 03/04/14)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

NASA budget released

WASHINGTON — NASA's $17.5 billion proposed budget for fiscal 2015 released Tuesday provides funding for NASA's top priorities. It includes $2.8 billion for the Space Launch System rocket and the Orion multi-purpose vehicle; $848 million for the Commercial Crew Program that helps fund private efforts to sent astronauts to the International Space Station; and $3.05 billion to run the ISS, including money for continued cargo shipments by SpaceX and Orbital Science. Stennis Space Center, Miss., and Michoud Assembly Facility, New Orleans, are involved in those programs. The budget also would ramp up funding to fly astronauts to an asteroid by 2025 as part of a steppingstone approach to Mars. The budget is some $190 million below the fiscal 2014 level. Fiscal 2015 begins Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30, 2015. (Source: multiple, including USAToday, Space.com, 03/04/14)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Southwest adjusts flights

PANAMA CITY, Fla. -- Southwest Airlines will temporarily cease direct service from Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport to Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) this fall. Direct flights from the airport in West Bay to Baltimore will not be available between Aug. 9 and Nov. 11 as part of a seasonal adjustment, ECP Director Parker McClellan said Monday. (Source: News Herald, 03/03/14)

Airbus posts another position

MOBILE, Ala. – Airbus is looking for a quality performance manager for the A320 final assembly line being built in Mobile. The position requires a minimum associate or technical degree with a focus on manufacturing, quality management, industrial engineering or business administration. The latest position also requires at least nine months training abroad. The $600 million plant, which will have 1,000 employees, will open in 2015 and its first plane will be produced in 2016. (Source: al.com, 03/04/14)

ST Aero vote on Thursday

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- The Escambia County Commission decides on Thursday whether to pledge $8 million toward the development of an ST Aerospace aircraft maintenance and repair facility at Pensacola International Airport. Commissioners will consider an agreement with the City of Pensacola setting out terms by which the county will loan the city $3.2 million. The county is putting $4.8 million into the project. The Singapore-based company also has a major operation in Mobile, Ala. (Source: Pensacola News Journal, 03/04/14) Previous

Saturday, March 1, 2014

China Eastern buying A320neos

China Eastern Airlines Corp., the nation's third-largest airline, ordered $6.4 billion single-aisle planes from Airbus Group to meet demand in a country set to become the world's biggest aircraft market. The 70 planes will be delivered between 2018 and 2020 and the final price is "significantly less than" the manufacturer's list price, China Eastern said in a statement to the Shanghai stock exchange. The airline is buying A320neos, the most fuel-efficient version of Airbus's single-aisle planes. (Source: Bloomberg, 02/28/14) Gulf Coast note: Airbus is building an A320 assembly line in Mobile, Ala.

General contractor chosen

MOBILE, Ala. – Birmingham-based Brasfield and Gorrie LLC has been awarded the first of four general contractor packages for the $600 million Airbus A320 final assembly line being built at Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley. The contractor will be responsible for the outfitting and completion of the final assembly line hangar and construction of the service building and logistics center. The contract was awarded by Hoar Program Management, the company overseeing construction of the Airbus complex. The plant will open in 2015 and the first jetliner will be produced in 2016. (Source: al.com, Birmingham Business Journal, Made in Alabama, 02/28/14)