One year after the ground breaking ceremony for Airbus’ first A320 Family assembly facility to be built in the U.S., the Mobile Assembly Line is making good progress. The main buildings are taking shape and the first employees have started their on-the-job training at Airbus Hamburg in Germany.
The steelwork on the main building, the Final Assembly Line hangar where the A320 Family aircraft will be assembled, started in April 2013 and is nearing completion. In addition, the powerhouse, which will provide utilities such as electricity, hot and chilled water is also nearing completion. The construction work continues with the assembly of the service building, housing the main offices, followed by the building of the logistics centre.
In parallel to the construction, employees for the assembly line are also being recruited. The first manufacturing engineering employees started initial training in November 2013 in Mobile before beginning their on-the-job training in Hamburg, Germany in mid-January this year. Over the past few months, manufacturing engineers, station managers and quality managers have been working alongside their counterparts in Germany to become familiar with production tools and processes.
The Mobile FAL will eventually employ some 1,000 people, to assemble the world’s most fuel-efficient single aisle A320 Family aircraft.
Currently, Airbus has three A320 FALs (Hamburg, Toulouse and Tianjin). In July 2012 Airbus decided to establish a fourth A320 Family Final Assembly Line in Mobile, Alabama, U.S. Production start is scheduled in 2015, with first deliveries from the Mobile facility beginning in 2016. The Mobile Assembly Line will produce four aircraft a month by 2017.