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BUSINESS REPORT: Arkansas — Dassault Invests $60 Million In Little Rock Expansion

By Ed Felton
From the May/June 2013 issue

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe

Dassault Falcon Jet plans to increase the size of its completion center in Little Rock, AR to accommodate future Falcon. The expansion was announced this month by Gov. Mike Beebe.

Over the next three years, the company will invest $60 million in new construction and the refurbishment of existing facilities.

“Little Rock has been a major part of our company identity over the last 38 years and today is the company’s largest industrial facility,” said Eric Trappier, chairman/CEO of Dassault Aviation. “It has become our worldwide center of excellence for primary completion activities and pioneered the use of digital design in cabin completion. The new investment will not only increase capacity but enhance the overall quality and efficiency of the products we provide to our customers.”

“Dassault Falcon Jet is a cornerstone of Arkansas’s aviation sector, and today’s significant investment will help cement that status for many years to come,” Gov. Beebe said.

ARKANSAS FAST FACTS

  • Population (2011 Est.): 2,937,979
  • Largest Cities (2011): Little Rock, 195,314; Fort Smith, 87,152; Fayetteville, 75,102; Springdale, 71,397; Jonesboro, 68,547
  • Targeted Industries: IT, Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Systems, Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences, Transportation Logistics
  • Key Incentives: Advantage AR, R&D Development, Equity Investment Tax Credit, Tourism Development Act, Targeted Business Incentives
  • GDP (All Industry 2011): $105.8 billion*

*Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce

Site preparation will begin in early 2014 and construction will take place through the early part of 2016. The result will be an increase of 250,000 square feet dedicated to production and completion activities. The project will also include refurbishment of the cabinet, upholstery and headliner shops along with upgrades to older hangars. The expansion will bring the total facility footprint to 1.25 million square feet.

The new completion facility will feature advanced tools and processes that shorten completion time and increase quality and accuracy. In 2010, Dassault Falcon Jet received approval from the FAA for the use of 3D data during the completion process, making it the first OEM to have approval for both 3D-type design and completion. In addition to enhancing quality, this allows the opportunity for the customer to visualize the final configuration of the aircraft.

ARKANSAS LEEDS THE WAY

  • Arkansas ranks ninth on the list of top states achieving LEED certification (per capita) for its facilities. There currently are 84 LEED-certified facilities in Arkansas and more than 200 additional facilities in the process of becoming LEED-certified.
  • Arkansas has more than 450 LEED credential professionals. The state is the only location wit two adjacent LEED Platinum buildings/properties: the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Heifer International.
  • The Clinton School of Public Service registered to achieve LEED-EB certification. Registered in 1989, Sturgis Hall, formerly the Choctaw Station, is the oldest building in Arkansas registered with the intent to receive LEED certification and the oldest college building in the world to receive certification. Arkansas encourages sustainability through green neighborhoods.

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