CLEARFIELD — The doors have officially opened on ATK’s 615,000-square-foot Aircraft Commercial Center of Excellence, bringing to Davis County 100 new “high-paying, highly skilled jobs,” with the expectation of 700 more jobs being added over the next 20 years.
Most of Utah’s Congressional delegation were on hand at the center’s ribbon-cutting Monday to extend a welcome to the company and show their support.
“I’m so proud of ATK and all of the business ventures they are in,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
“This facility is going to be the greatest facility in the world,” Hatch told the crowd of several hundred who had gathered for the ceremony.
ACCE, as it is referred to, increases the footprint for ATK to meet the global demands of the commercial aerospace market, said George Torres, ATK spokesman.
The state-of-the-art center, at 1051 S. Freeport Industrial Parkway in Clearfield’s Freeport Center, will serve as headquarters for ATK Aerospace Structures’ commercial aircraft programs, he said.
The center will support the manufacturing of commercial airframes and engine components for the Airbus A350, and General Electric and Rolls-Royce engine programs.
“Innovation is in Airbus (Americas’) DNA,” said Barry Eccleston, president and CEO of Airbus Americas.
And the reason Airbus Americas has entered into an agreement with ATK, Eccleston said, is that ATK possesses the technology to manufacture high-quality composite materials for Airbus aircraft.
Eccleston said he is also impressed that Hatch, along with U.S. Reps. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, as well as Lt. Gov. Greg Bell, would attend Monday’s ceremony.
“Their presence shows the importance of the facility,” he said.
ATK Aerospace Systems President Blake Larson agrees, saying, “It’s a great day for the state of Utah. It’s a great day for ATK. ... This is a journey of innovation.”
The center will increase capability and capacity by creating a full-spectrum engineering and manufacturing center for commercial composite aircraft structures and components.
Some of the lightweight but superior-quality composite components to be manufactured there include framing, which provides diameter support to the aircraft, and stringers, which are used to provide support along the length of the aircraft.
To do the work, the center has already hired 100 employees and is expecting to hire 275 more workers over the next two to three years, Torres said.
The facility has been designed to meet the robust demands of the commercial aircraft marketplace with the capability of manufacturing more than 10,000 parts per month at rate production levels, Torres said.
“That is what we want to be known as, the composite capital of Utah,” said Kent Sulser, director of Davis County Community and Economic Development.
And what benefits Davis County, Sulser said, benefits the entire Wasatch Front. “(The composite industry) is the wave of the future. We find it being employed in a number of ways.”