An 80,000-square foot expansion at UTC Aerospace in Foley was quiet and mostly empty at its dedication on Thursday, but company officials said they don’t expect it to stay that way long as it fills with some of the most sophisticated jet engines in the world and 260 new jobs helping prepare them for flight.
“There’s a huge ramp rate coming for the A320 NEO program,” said Mike Grondalski, vice president for UTC Aerospace Systems’ aerostructures division. “There will be a lot of work coming very quickly.”
UTC’s plant in Foley has been operating since the ’80s. Its specialties include building and installing components that wrap around jet engines – including inlet cowls, fan cowls and thrust reversers – and refurbishing those and other components for jets already in service. The plant does engine build-up work on all the engines installed on new planes built at the Airbus plant in Mobile, but also builds components used on other aircraft by manufactures in the United States and abroad.