Work has begun on Bombardier Aerospace’s new aircraft manufacturing base in Belfast.
The Canadian-owned company will make and assemble wings for its 110 to 130 seat CSeries planes at the facility, located at its existing site in east Belfast.
The 600,000 sq ft factory is being built in two phases and the first test wing for the aircraft is due to be received from Belfast in 2011.
Almost 400 engineering and support staff in Belfast are currently engaged in the research and development of the wings and the factory is expected to generate 800 jobs when at full production.
Michael Ryan, general manager of Bombardier Aerospace in Belfast, said: “We are currently testing and proving out the design, manufacturing and assembly processes for the CSeries aircraft wing. We are making excellent progress and are very pleased with the results so far.
“We are delighted that Bombardier Belfast’s capabilities and skills, as well as the wider economy, will benefit strongly from the CSeries aircraft programme.”
Enterprise Minister Arlene Fostersaid: “Locating the CSeries aircraft wing project in Northern Ireland is a clear endorsement of the expertise and skill which exist in our aerospace sector and highlights our international reputation for excellence.”
Bombardier said around 450 construction personnel will be involved in the first phase of the building project.
Since launching the CSeries family of aircraft at the Farnborough Air Show last July, Bombardier has recorded orders for 50 CS100 and CS300 aircraft from Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Lease Corporation International Group.