Dassault Aviation: Dassault Falcon Jet to Expand Little Rock Completion Facility

Marketwired

SAINT-CLOUD CEDEX, FRANCE--(Marketwired - May 30, 2013) - Dassault Falcon Jet plans toincrease the size of its completion center inLittle Rock, Arkansas to accommodate future Falcons, it was announced todayat apress conference attended by Governor Mike Beebe of Arkansas, SenatorsBoozmanand Pryor, Representative Griffin, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola andexecutivesfrom Dassault Falcon Jet. Over the next three years, the company willinvest $60million in new construction and the refurbishment of existing facilities.

"Little Rock has been a major part of our company identity over the last 38years and today is the company's largest industrial facility," said EricTrappier, Chairman & CEO of Dassault Aviation. "It has become our worldwidecenter of excellence for primary completion activities and pioneered theuse ofdigital design in cabin completion. The new investment will not onlyincreasecapacity but enhance the overall quality and efficiency of the products weprovide to our customers."

"I like to say that a piece of Little Rock is always flying somewhere intheworld because of the craftsmanship, ingenuity and dedication of ouremployeeshere," said John Rosanvallon, President and CEO of Dassault Falcon Jet. "Iamglad that the Dassault Aviation Board of Directors gave the green light forthismajor expansion and want to thank Governor Beebe, the Little Rock AirportCommission and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission for aproductiveexchange that ultimately led to a win-win agreement for Dassault Falcon Jetandthe State of Arkansas."

"Dassault Falcon Jet is a cornerstone of Arkansas's aviation sector, andtoday'ssignificant investment will help cement that status for many years tocome,"Governor Beebe said. "This company is a big reason that aviation productsareone of our top exports, and their Little Rock employees are a big reasonDassault Falcon Jet is committed to doing business in Arkansas."

Site preparation will begin in early 2014 and construction will take placethrough the early part of 2016. The result will be an increase of 250,000squarefeet dedicated to production and completion activities. The project willalsoinclude refurbishment of the cabinet, upholstery and headliner shops alongwithupgrades to older hangars. The expansion will bring the total facilityfootprintto 1.25 million square feet.

The new completion facility will be state-of-the-art, with advanced toolsandprocesses that shorten completion time and increase quality and accuracy.In2010, Dassault Falcon Jet received approval from the FAA for the use of 3Ddataduring the completion process, making it the first OEM to have approval forboth3D type design and completion. In addition to enhancing quality, thisallows theopportunity for the customer to visualize the final configuration of theaircraft.

In 2012, Dassault Aviation delivered 66 Falcon aircraft, and expects thatnumberto increase in the coming years.

History of Little Rock

In 1975, 'Falcon Jet Corp.' - then a Dassault Aviation/Pan Am jointventure-purchased Little Rock Airmotive, a 61,500 square foot hangar andofficefacility, and integrated it into its global production line. FedEx founderFredSmith originally used Little Rock Airmotive as a completion center for thefleetof Falcon 20 transports that he used to launch his overnight deliveryservice inthe early seventies. When Falcon Jet Corp. was looking for a completionfacility, they discovered a group of workers already familiar with theFalconproduct line. Making Little Rock even more attractive was its pool ofhighlyskilled artisans in cabinetry, carpentry, leather goods, upholstery and arangeof other related technical activities.

In 2008, Dassault Falcon Jet completed a previous 116,000 square feet footexpansion at Little Rock with the addition of a new four bay paint hangar.That$20 million expansion grew the facility to a total of 897,000 square feetandalso included a new production and design area, more warehouse space and anewflight line.

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Source: Dassault Aviation via Thomson Reuters ONE

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