After meeting with Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders and other senior Arkansas leaders at the Paris Air Show this summer, Dassault Falcon Jet is expanding its presence in Little Rock to support the development and delivery of its new Dassault Falcon 6X business jet and future Falcon programmes. This expansion will create 800 new jobs in the region.
Dassault Falcon Jet selected Little Rock as the location for its Falcon completion centre expansion based on the availability of skilled workers, the presence of its existing facilities and the strong support of state and local officials.
"Our expected demand for new Falcons, such as our Falcon 6X which has just entered service, requires that we evaluate our production needs including our completion capacity," says Dassault chairman and CEO Eric Trappier. "The State of Arkansas has always been a vital part of our success in Little Rock, and we appreciate the leadership of Governor Huckabee Sanders as we build a bigger presence."
"This cements Arkansas' role as an aerospace powerhouse, growing our state's largest export industry by 800 new jobs," says Governor Sanders. "I'm grateful to Dassault's leadership for doubling down on their investment in central Arkansas and will keep cutting taxes, growing our workforce and improving our schools to help Arkansas' aerospace industry continue to expand."
Dassault Falcon Jet employs approximately 1,400 workers across two facilities, totalling 1.2 million square feet, in Little Rock. This is the company's largest facility in the world in terms of both footprint and number of employees.
The company has operated in Arkansas since 1975 when it opened its aircraft completion facility. Unfinished or 'green' aircraft are flown into the completion centre for the installation of optional avionics and custom interiors and exterior painting. It also operates a customer service centre there.
Dassault Falcon Jet has made multiple investments in its Little Rock facility in recent years. In 2015, Dassault Falcon Jet invested $60 million to expand the completion center, adding 350,000sq ft of production space. The company previously invested $20 million in 2008 to add four paint bays and new production, design and warehouse space.