Falcon Jet in Little Rock Makes Way for New Planes

by Lance Turner  on Wednesday, Mar. 9, 2005 12:05 pm  

Leaders of Dassault Falcon Jet's Little Rock operations on Wednesday announced plans to add about 73,000 SF of manufacturing, hangar and office space and at least 100-200 workers.

Dassault's Little Rock facility employs 1,500. Speaking at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, Christian Sasso, Dassault's senior vice president and general manager in Little Rock, said the company will hire between 100 and 200 more employees. He said reports that the company might hire more, possibly 400, depend on airplane sales and other economic factors.

Sasso said the company is expanding its 30-year-old Little Rock production center to support Dassault Aviation SA's new Falcon 7X aircraft, unveiled last month in France. The Little Rock center is targeted to increase output by 40 percent by 2007, Sasso said. Dassault is also moving some of its finishing operations in France to Little Rock.

Little Rock National Airport's Adams Field is home to the company's business jet completion center, where seats, cabinets, cabin amenities and specialized avionics are installed and the planes get their custom paint jobs. The Dassault Little Rock facility occupies 567,000 SF of space.

The expansion will include a 44,000-SF warehouse and 9,000 SF of new office space. A new hanger will have the capacity to fit 28 of the new larger 7X aircraft under one roof. The first of the new buildings is scheduled to open in January 2006, and the first 7X aircraft is expected to arrive in Little Rock in March 2006.

Sasso said Dassault already has orders for 53 of its new 7X model, which boasts a wide, 82-feet wing span and can fly faster, higher and farther than previous Falcon models.



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