As reported in the Cincinnati Business Courier
, EACC member Safran Landing Systems
broke ground last week on the expansion of its Walton, Kentucky plant.
Safran originally built its Walton Safran Landing Systems plant in 1999. It was the second of three plants, with the first in Europe and third in Asia. The Greater Cincinnati region was chosen because of Safran's close relationship with GE Aviation. The two are 50-50 partners in joint venture CFM International
(also an EACC member).
The newest expansion is the fifth at the plant, which produces aerospace parts. The expansion will allow the company to increase its capacity to produce carbon brakes for commercial and military aircraft by 30 to 40 percent, Safran Landing Systems CEO Vincent Mascré told the Business Courier
"The demand for carbon brakes is growing very fast because they are lighter and more efficient than steel breaks, and we need to keep up with demand," he said. "Then, there was the question, do we expand in Asia, Europe or the U.S.?"
Walton was selected because of the stability of the local workforce, the business climate in Kentucky, the availability of the raw materials – which are sourced from natural gas – and the current high performance of the existing plant, Mascré said.
The expansion is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
CEO and General Manager of
Safran Landing Systems Kentucky Philippe Garnier (pictured above) kicked off the ceremony with introductory comments. In attendance were Vincent
Mascré, CEO of
Safran Landing Systems;
Kentucky Governor, Matt Bevin; and Chairman of Northern Kentucky Tri-ED
(an EACC partner), Steve Pendrey. The EACC was also delighted to attend.
*Article adapted from the Cincinnati Business Courier