The UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, today officially opened Bombardier’s new wing manufacturing and assembly facility in Belfast.
Following the addition of close to 1,000 employees to its Northern Ireland workforce over the last two years, Bombardier announced today that it will create at least 250 more employment opportunities over the next 12 months, to cater for its expanding aircraft programmes and component repair business. By the end of 2014, this will bring the projected workforce to approximately 6,250.
Bombardier’s new 600,000-square-foot facility is producing the wings for the CSeries aircraft, which had its successful maiden flight last month. The wings are made using an innovative carbon-fibre composite technology developed by Bombardier engineers in Northern Ireland. This technology enables both material and aircraft weight savings, which contribute to reduced manufacturing cycle times and reduced fuel burn.
Bombardier also announced today that the new wing facility has been certified to Gold level in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system by the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED is the foremost international program for buildings designed, constructed, and operated for improved environmental and health performance. The facility’s sustainable initiatives include building material selection, the extensive use of natural light, energy efficiency, water saving, and indoor environmental quality.
“The CSeries is setting new standards in the commercial aircraft marketplace with its unmatched environmental scorecard, and our employees’ expertise and dedication are playing a key role in the success of the program. The prestigious LEED certification of our new Belfast facility also demonstrates that not only are we on the right track with our innovative and environmentally conscious products, we are also delivering on our commitments as a responsible corporate citizen,” said Pierre Beaudoin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier Inc.
“We believe that our advanced composites process enables a step-change in the way aircraft wings are made. The benefits of weight reduction compared to conventional metal wings, and reduced inspection and maintenance activities, are making an important contribution to the CSeries aircraft’s success. Bombardier’s major investment in the CSeries aircraft programme continues to bring significant benefits to the 200 companies in our UK supply chain as well as to the Northern Ireland and wider UK economies,” said Michael Ryan, Vice-President and General Manager, Bombardier Aerospace, Belfast.