GKN Aerospace announced on Nov. 23 the company’s intention to establish a new aerospace components assembly facility in Orangeburg, S.C., USA.
The new GKN Aerospace facility will perform assembly operations for the recently-awarded production contract for the HondaJet, the development work for which is currently performed at the company’s Alabama facility. This work will involve assembly of the state-of-the-art, all-composite fuselage for Honda’s (Greensboro, N.C., USA) new HondaJet light business jet. Work is scheduled to begin at the Orangeburg site in mid-2012.
Design and equipping of the new 150,000-ft2/13,935m2 plant will begin shortly and is scheduled to be operational by the second half of 2012. Recruitment of the first new staff will begin in spring 2012. GKN Aerospace expects more than 75 personnel to be working in the new facility within the first year of production, with employment rising to approximately 300 within the next five years. The company aims to recruit the majority of these personnel from the local region.
Kevin Cummings, president and CEO, Aerostructures - North, GKN Aerospace, noted: “This facility is at the heart of the growth of our business in the U.S. The contract on the pioneering HondaJet represents a new product line, and a customer relationship of which we are particularly proud. This move brings the vital assembly activity close to Honda’s own plant. Over the longer term we expect the new site to serve a range of aerospace customers on assembly tasks across civil and military aviation.”