As expected, the Boeing company announced today that it will build the composite wings for the 777x at the Everett plant. Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson was among the dignitaries speaking at a ceremony at the Everett plant to mark the announcement. Here’s the official Boeing press release:
Boeing (NYSE: BA) today announced the selection of its Everett, Wash., site as the location for a new composite wing center for the 777X program. Boeing evaluated criteria that were designed to find the wing fabrication location that would best support the 777X business plan. The new composite wing center will be located north of the Everett factory and will sustain thousands of Puget Sound area jobs for years to come.
“Locating the new composite wing center in Everett is a win for all of our teammates and partners,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Ray Conner. “This will put our workforce on the cutting edge of composite technology and allow us to build on the infrastructure and logistics system we have in Everett. This decision will strengthen the company’s competitiveness and help it grow for the long term.”
Boeing selected the Everett site for 777X final assembly following the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 751 approval of an eight-year contract extension earlier this year. As part of the contract extension, the company agreed to fabricate the parts for, and assemble, the 777X composite wings in the Puget Sound region. After studying several options, the company determined that the Everett site will meet its business needs for fabrication and assembly.
“This marks the first step in a bricks and mortar commitment by Boeing to build a facility that will be home to the jobs and technology of tomorrow – not in a foreign country or a distant state, but right here in the Pacific Northwest,” said IAM President Tom Buffenbarger.
The new facility will support fabrication of the 777X composite wings and will be approximately 1 million square feet. Construction on the new facility is scheduled to begin later this year.
Assembly of the composite wings will also take place at the company’s Everett site, with the exact location to be determined in the months ahead.
“Today we gain certainty that Washington will remain the global leader in aerospace for decades to come,” said Washington Governor Jay Inslee. “Thanks to this tremendous investment by Boeing, we know that thousands of talented Washington workers will soon be fabricating the most technologically advanced carbon fiber structure ever developed and the world’s next great commercial airplane, the 777X. The work at this plant also launches Washington into the forefront of advanced composites manufacturing – an industry with exciting growth potential beyond aerospace.”
“Today’s announcement signals the beginning of a new era of aerospace for Everett and Washington state,” said Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson. “The 777X and composite wing technology represent a wealth of opportunity – not just for Boeing and its workers – but also for our entire community. With our history and experienced workforce, Everett has earned its place at the forefront of this next phase of commercial aviation.”
“Thank you to everyone who participated in this process, especially our IAM teammates and elected officials. Together we will carry forward our tradition of aerospace excellence in Washington,” added Conner.
The 777X builds on today’s passenger-preferred, market-leading 777 and offers more market coverage and revenue capability than the competition. First delivery is targeted for 2020.