Spirit AeroSystems adding capacity

 - October 1, 2008, 8:24 AM

Wichita-based Spirit AeroSystems (Booth No. 3888) announced plans to build a 375,000-sq-ft factory to accommodate the manufacturing and testing of the Cessna Citation Columbus. The airplane assembly and component supplier signed an agreement with Cessna earlier this year to produce the Citation’s fuselage and empennage.

The new factory will provide enough capacity for the Citation model, as well as for additional programs, the supplier said. In May the company signed a contract with Airbus to design and produce a composite fuselage for the A350XWB, and in March it signed an agreement with Gulfstream to design, produce and integrate a flight-ready wing for the G650. Work on the new facility will begin immediately.

The factory is part of Spirit’s five-year plan to invest $260 million and create 700 new jobs in Kansas. Spirit president and CEO Jeff Turner said the company was able to move forward with its plans with help from state and local governments and the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition.

The Kansas Department of Commerce committed $14.5 million, while the city of Wichita and Sedgwick County will each commit $1.6 million and provide a 10-year tax incentive package. “We are pleased to support these new programs for a global company headquartered in Wichita and expanding throughout the world,” said Wichita mayor Carl Brewer. Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius and Sedgwick County Board of County Commissioners chairman Tom Winters also voiced their support for the program.

Spirit AeroSystems also reached an agreement this year with North Carolina officials to create a composites manufacturing center for aircraft parts and assemblies. The facility will be located in North Carolina’s Global TransPark, near Kinston, and will eventually employ 1,000 people when all five phases of the project development are complete. Construction is scheduled to begin later this year and conclude in 2010.