FTZ #26 Operator Pratt & Whitney to Invest $65 Million in Columbus, GA. Facility
In June, 2016, the Georgia Department of Economic Development announced the significant investment of Pratt & Whitney, a world leader in aircraft design. The $65m initiative will go toward retrofitting and equipping their Columbus Engine Center to perform PurePower® Geared Turbofan™ (GTF) engine maintenance on-site.
“As the GTF engine continues to enter into service, it is critical that we have a strong maintenance, repair and overhaul network in place to support these engines,” said Joe Sylvestro, Pratt & Whitney’s vice president of Aftermarket Operations. “The Columbus Engine Center draws on decades of high volume engine maintenance experience and is well-positioned to provide the highest quality service to our GTF engine customers.”
Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company was founded in 1925 by Frederick B. Rentschler, a toolmaker from Hartford, Conn., who revolutionized the aircraft industry in the same year with a lighter, air-cooled engine superior to the liquid-cooled engines of the day. The company began operations in Ga. in 1996, becoming the first facility in the world to begin maintaining PW1000G engines.
Located 90 miles south of Atlanta, the Columbus Engine Center has performed more than 1500 engine overhauls, maintaining several important engines in the Pratt & Whitney family: the V2500®-A5, PW2000, F117, and F100 engines. This expansion will extend those capabilities to include maintenance on PW1100G-JM and PW1500G engines.
“The Pratt & Whitney Columbus Engine Center has become the company’s engine overhaul center of excellence in North America due to its skilled workforce, proven track record for performance and potential for growth,” noted Sylvestro. “The tremendous support we receive from the community and state have contributed to the success of this business.”
This significant investment will support the current employment of administrative, technical, supervisory, production and maintenance positions at the Columbus facility, currently located at 8801 Macon Road. It will also allow the company to expand these facilities, starting construction on a new test facility adjacent to the existing test cell. The company has been investing in upgrading the facility, including adding GTF engine maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) capabilities. The new GTF facilities will add disassembly, inspection, assembly and test capabilities.
“Pratt & Whitney has been committed to Columbus, Georgia for the past 30 years, having provided thousands of jobs for our residents and tremendous corporate support to our community,” said Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, of the City of Columbus. “We believe with today’s significant investment announcement that they will be providing more opportunities to our city and region for the next 30 years.”
“We appreciate Pratt & Whitney’s continued investment in the state of Georgia,” declared Chris Carr, GDEcD commissioner, “and we look forward to working with our economic development partners in Columbus to support the company in future growth.”