AUBURN, Ala.- The Paris Air Show has churned out a lot of good news for the State of Alabama. On Monday, Gov. Kay Ivey announced that Winkelmann, a high-tech, German manufacturer will be creating a facility in Auburn that will make a $12 million investment in the city as well as adding 50 new jobs over the next five years.
Also at the air show, GE Aviation and its partner companies announced they received $31 billion worth of orders and commitments while at the air show. More than 30 airlines and lessors made orders and commitments, which expanded GE Aviation’s orderbook by more than 1,700. Some of those engines are the CFM Leap engine used on the Boeing 737MAX and Airbus’ A320neo families of single-aisle aircraft.
GE Aviation said its Alabama plants will play a major role in trying to meet the multi-billion dollar orders and commitments.
One of the plants is in Auburn, which is an advanced manufacturing facility that is the first to produce 3D-printed parts for commercial aircraft engines.
Auburn’s GE Aviation plant has been open since 2013. Interim City Manager Jim Buston said it was years in the making to bring GE Aviation to Auburn, and since then, it has been a tremendous partnership.
“When you get a company like GE Aviation in your community, it’s a catalyst to get similar companies that are those high-tech, aviation oriented companies to come locate there as well,” City Manager Buston said.
Recent calculations estimate that the company’s indirect and direct economic impact on Alabama is more than $492 million a year. That can be broken down to $1.4 million a day; $56,000 an hour and $16 a second.
“It does nothing but increase the amount of research that could be done at Auburn University,” Sen. Tom Whatley (R-District 27) said. It could increase the amount of federal grants we get to Auburn University for this type of research. With that, you’re going to be able show other companies that hey, we are open for business, we are doing the research here that you are going to need to have in additive manufacturing to make your business work because that is the way manufacturing is going. It’s going to do nothing, but bring jobs to the area.”