SOURCE: Aurora Flight Sciences
October 16, 2008 12:15 ET
Aurora Flight Sciences Opens Major Expansion of Mississippi Manufacturing Facility
COLUMBUS, MS--(Marketwire - October 16, 2008) - Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, a leader
in the design and production of specialized unmanned aircraft and other
advanced aerospace vehicles, today celebrated the opening of its expanded
Mississippi manufacturing plant located at the Golden Triangle Regional
Airport (GTR), Columbus, MS.
Aurora opened its initial Mississippi facility in the spring of 2005. In
May of 2007 the company opened a purpose-built 21,000 square feet of
manufacturing space at GTR. The latest expansion includes an additional
64,300 square feet of manufacturing space with 5,000 square feet of office
space for expanded design and engineering capacity. This $15 million
investment by Aurora in buildings and facilities marks a major commitment
of resources by the company and comes as a result of expanded work being
done in Mississippi.
On hand to mark the opening of Aurora's newest facility were Mississippi's
United States Senator Thad Cochran and U.S. Representative Travis Childers.
Childers represents Mississippi's First District, including Columbus, and
holds the seat previously held by Senator Roger Wicker. The event was
emceed by Aurora Flight Sciences President and CEO John Langford.
During his remarks, Senator Cochran said, "This is just the kind of
capability our military has been asking for in order to provide
cost-effective airborne surveillance twenty-four hours a day to our
soldiers on the battlefield, and I look forward to the day full production
Orion aircraft roll out of this hangar for delivery to the Department of
Defense. I am proud to say that Aurora Flight Sciences is a fine example of
the type of industry we want in Mississippi."
Aurora's Mississippi operation fabricates composite aerostructures. The
facility currently provides airframe design, assembly and integration of
the high performance Orion HALL (High Altitude, Long Loiter) hydrogen
powered Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) and other Aurora unmanned aircraft,
including the GoldenEye 50 and GoldenEye 80. Manned aircraft work at the
Mississippi operation will also include the parts for the Sikorsky Aircraft
The facility includes clean rooms, climate-controlled material storage and
all other items necessary for high-quality composite aerostructures
fabrication. The new expansion will have a cargo bay capable of supporting
airframes with wing spans as wide as 250 feet. "This is a first-rate
facility, with first-rate Mississippi employees. We look forward to growing
this business as we compete and win more business," said Greg Stewart,
Aurora's Director of Development.
"Aurora Flight Sciences' expansion represents an important investment in
Mississippi's economic development and growth, and I am extremely pleased
that this is taking place right here in North Mississippi," said
Congressman Childers. "The corporation has always been an important part of
our community and their expansion represents an ongoing commitment to our
Dr. Langford said, "This expansion is a major commitment on behalf of
Aurora to grow and build our capabilities here in Mississippi. We're
thrilled to be part of the Golden Triangle aerospace complex and growing
prosperity of this region and the people who call it home. We also take
great pride in knowing that this state-of-the-art technology is a valued
part of our nation's defense. What we are doing is ultimately helping our
warfighters -- the men and women of the United States armed forces who are
on the front lines in the fight to protect the United States, our families,
and the freedoms we enjoy."
Senator Wicker, who was unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts,
commented, "This expansion represents Aurora's commitment to both the
Golden Triangle Region and our men and women in uniform. Unmanned aerial
vehicles are a high priority for our military because of the critical role
they play in protecting our troops and helping them do their jobs more
effectively. The work being done by Aurora helps our military meet this
critical need while also creating high-skilled, good-paying jobs for
About Aurora Flight Sciences
Aurora Flight Sciences designs and builds robotic aircraft and other
advanced aerospace vehicles for scientific and military applications.
Aurora is headquartered in Manassas, VA and operates production plants in
Bridgeport, WV and Columbus, MS and a Research and Development Center in
Cambridge, MA. To view recent press releases and more about Aurora please
visit our web site at www.aurora.aero.