Airbus has announced the name of the new aviation experience center to be built in Mobile: Flight Works Alabama. In addition, the company issued the first architectural rendering of the new facility.
“The name ’Flight Works’ represents a number of different aspects of the center’s mission, just as the center itself will offer varied experiences for each visitor,” said Airbus Americas Chairman and CEO Jeff Knittel. “‘Works’ speaks to learning HOW flight actually works, as well as how one can find a career in the aviation industry. In addition, visitors will come face-to-face with the inner-workings of aircraft, systems, and components through hands-on experiences. We are convinced visitors to Flight Works Alabama will walk away with greater knowledge and appreciation of how aviation enriches everyone’s lives.” He added, “We’re so pleased to once again partner with the State of Alabama to further aerospace excellence on the Gulf Coast, and to help inspire a future workforce for the industry.”
In May 2017, Alabama’s governor Kay Ivey announced the intent to build the hands-on instructional facility, with the goal to bolster Alabama’s workforce development efforts and inspire young people to pursue careers in aerospace.
Flight Works Alabama will be a 19,000 square foot experience center housing a large interactive exhibition area, classrooms, a collaboration room, a workshop, a restaurant and a gift shop. As it will be located just off the campus of Airbus’ aircraft manufacturing facility at Mobile Aeroplex, it will also be a gateway for public tours of Airbus’ A320 family assembly line.
Several Alabama-based firms are working to bring Flight Works Alabama to reality, including architects Mott MacDonald (Mobile), and management consultants Innovators365. IDEAS, the experience design firm, has spent the last two years working with the Alabama Department of Commerce developing the AlabamaWorks! brand and an innovative online Career Success Guides program.
Airbus says the next steps for Flight Works includes the state of Alabama contracting the construction firms, which is expected by late spring/early summer, a groundbreaking in the summer, and continuing to work with universities and other entities to design innovative learning opportunities. The grand opening is expected in 2019.