Airbus is to expand its North American presence with a new U.S. engineering centre in Mobile, Alabama that will start with design work on the A350 twin-engine airliner.
Construction of the facility will begin next January, with the inauguration scheduled 12 months later. It will join an Airbus engineering centre in Wichita, Kansas that opened in 2002 and today employs some 200 engineers and staff working on the A380, A350 and A340.
The new Alabama engineering centre initially will be responsible for A350 design assignments with interior furnishings such as seats, overhead stowage bins, crew rest compartments, lavatories, galleys, ceiling panels and sidewall panels.
This facility is expected to employ at least 150 engineers, and Airbus is accepting resumes from engineers with 5-15 years of experience in aircraft interior design, cargo and cabin customisation to fill the positions. (For more details, see the Careers Centre
The Alabama operation is the first step in a potentially larger-scale industrial site that would be created if the A330 military aerial refuelling variant is selected to modernise the U.S. Air Force's tanker fleet. This aircraft â€“ designated the KC-30 â€“ is being proposed in an industrial team lead by U.S. prime contractor Northrop Grumman.
Airbus' expanding North American engineering and technical support operations accompanies its growing commercial presence in the United States and Canada. Major airlines and leasing companies in these markets have ordered more than 2,200 of the 5,600-plus jetliners acquired from Airbus by customers worldwide. All Airbus aircraft versions - the A300, A310, A318, A319, A320, A321, A330, A340 and A380 - are in operation or on order by North American customers.
In addition to the Alabama and Kansas engineering centres, U.S. operations of Airbus include the Airbus North America headquarters in Herndon, Virginia; a $50 million Airbus training centre in Miami, Florida; the Airbus customer services facility in Herndon, Virginia; a customer services spares centre in Ashburn, Virginia; and Airbus North America Safety and Technical Affairs in Washington, D.C.