Boeing will begin construction on a South Carolina painting facility for fully assembled 787 Dreamliners during the second half of 2014 and expects to start production in mid-2016.
The company has purchased 267 acres from the Charleston County Aviation Authority and leased 201 acres from Palmetto Railways to accommodate future expansion. Boeing plans to build a facility to support composite fabrication of 787s in 2016.
The 230,000-square-foot space, located on Boeing’s main campus in North Charleston, S.C., will replace the painting operation that currently occurs at a facility in Fort Worth.
"We've been busy here in South Carolina this year," Boeing’s Jack Jones said in a statement. "Our BSC teammates have not only been ramping to rate in component and airplane production, but they're doing it in the middle of construction zones. Our commitment to South Carolina is visibly demonstrated every day as our growth and expansion continues. I don't expect that ending anytime soon."
Boeing’s growth in South Carolina has been a major point of contention for its workers in Seattle, Boeing’s home base, where the company is currently embroiled in labor negotiations with unions.