Airbus revealed Wednesday the new aviation experience center to be built in Mobile will be named Flight Works Alabama and the aerospace company shared a sneak peek at what it will look like.
“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.”
Last May, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced plans to build the hands-on, instructional facility, aimed at bolstering Alabama’s workforce development efforts and inspiring young people to pursue careers in aerospace.
The 19,000-square-foot Flight Works Alabama will house a large interactive exhibition area, classrooms, a collaboration room, a workshop, a restaurant and a gift shop. It will be built just off the campus of Airbus’ aircraft manufacturing facility at Mobile Aeroplex and will become a gateway for public tours of Airbus’ A320 family assembly line.
Mott MacDonald in Mobile is the architect on the project. Innovators365 is the management consultant. IDEAS, the experience design firm, has spent the past two years working with the Alabama Department of Commerce developing the AlabamaWorks! brand and an innovative online Career Success Guides program.
Airbus said the next steps for Flight Works call for the state to contract with construction firms this year, break ground this summer and work toward opening in 2019. Universities and other entities will help develop innovative learning opportunities for Flight Works Alabama.