Aerospace firm to build plant, create 1,100 jobs at Global TransPark

Posted May 13, 2008 11:59 a.m. EDT
Updated May 14, 2008 9:08 a.m. EDT

— A source confirmed to WRAL Tuesday that Spirit AeroSystems, a manufacturer and supplier of commercial aircraft components, will announce plans to build an assembly plant at the Global TransPark in Kinston on Wednesday.

The plant will generate approximately 1,100 jobs paying an average wage of $70,000 per year, according to media reports.

Gov, Mike Easley's office announced late Tuesday that he would make "an economic development announcement" Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the airport. will carry the press conference live.

The Kinston Free Press, which first reported the story on Saturday, said that the plant could create as many as 4,000 to 5,000 jobs.

The GTP board meets on Wednesday morning. The Golden LEAF Foundation also meets Wednesday and could announce incentives for the project.

According to a source close to the negotiations, an agreement has been reached between the company and state and local governments. It is the largest economic victory to date for the GTP, which the North Carolina General Assembly authorized in 1991.

North Carolina has competed for several aviation projects over the years, offering the GTP as a potential site. Among them were a Fed Ex hub that went to the Triad and a Boeing manufacturing plant that went to the state of Washington.

North Carolina offered more than $500 million in incentives in its attempt to win the Boeing plant.

The GTP covers 2,400 acres and includes a runway stretching 11,500 feet to accommodate large jets.

Local officials remained mum about the deal late Tuesday afternoon.

The committee empowered to negotiate tax incentives to recruit new companies or to expand existing facilities meets Wednesday morning at the Department of Commerce.

A spokesperson for Spirit AeroSystems said the company had no comment about a possible deal. “Honestly, at this point I’m not sure,” the spokesperson said.

According to the Kinston Free Press, the plant will be used to manufacture the nose section of Boeing 787 aircraft fuselages.

Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE: SPR) is based in Wichita, Kan. The company reported more than $1 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2008 and has a backlog in orders of more than $27 billion.

Primary areas of focus for manufacturing include:

  • fuselages
  • under-wing components
  • composites
  • wings
  • spares/repair parts

The company was formed in 2005 when Boeing sold the business unit around which Spirit AeroSystems was formed to Onex Corp. Spirit AeroSystems also operates two facilities in Oklahoma, one in Scotland and one in England.