Business & Economy
5:35 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

GE Aviation Wants To Expand In North Carolina

Navy employee works on a GE jet engine.
Credit US Navy
Leoneda Inge reports on new GE Aviation project to expand its facilities and workforce at four sites across North Carolina.

GE Aviation - a division of General Electric Company - is planning to expand its presence in North Carolina.  Today’s announcement was made at the International Paris Air Show in France.  A delegation from North Carolina was on hand to receive the news.

GE Aviation, a world leader in the manufacture of commercial and military jet engines, wants to expand production at its advanced manufacturing facilities in Durham, West Jefferson, and outside Wilmington.   And it is planning on building a new facility next to its machining plant in Asheville.

The new Asheville plant would specifically produce engine components made of CMC materials, advanced ceramic matrix composite.  Officials say the technology "enhances performance" and improves the "durability of engines."  David Joyce is the President and CEO of GE Aviation. 

"Asheville would be our first factory involved in the mass production of CMC components," Joyce said in a company statement. "We believe the future Asheville plant will be on the ground floor of a new technology that will change aviation."

The governor’s office and the state Commerce Department say the project would mean a capital investment of $195 million for North Carolina and close to 250 new jobs over the next five years.  There are already more than 1,300 GE Aviation employees in the state.

The project has not been officially approved yet – pending a state incentives package.  The Asheville Citizen-Times quotes economic developers who say a dozen other states were vying for the new GE Aviation facility.  Buncombe County commissioners and the Asheville City Council reportedly approved more than $4 million in cash incentives for the project.