SAVANNAH, Ga., March 6, 2006 -- Gulfstream Aerospace, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), announced plans today for a $300 million, seven-year expansion of its manufacturing and service facilities in Savannah, Ga. As a result of the expansion, employment at the facility is expected to grow by some 1,100 jobs, a 25 percent increase from the current employment level of 4,300 employees.
In the presence of Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, U.S. Representative Jack Kingston, Chatham County Commission Chairman Pete Liakakis, Savannah Mayor Otis Johnson and other dignitaries, employees at the Gulfstream facility learned that their work site will expand nearly 70 percent in size by 2012.
"Gulfstream is the benchmark for business aviation throughout the world, and we are proud that the company is based in Georgia," said Governor Sonny Perdue. "The expansion of Gulfstream's manufacturing and service facilities will have a major impact on the state and local economy by creating more than one thousand new jobs."
First opened in 1967, Gulfstream's Savannah headquarters site includes initial phase manufacturing for the Gulfstream G550, G500, G450 and G350. The site also includes one of the company's five final phase manufacturing facilities and the largest of Gulfstream's 10 service centers.
"In the past four years we've seen strong, steady growth in our industry," Gulfstream President Bryan Moss said. "From 2004 to 2005, we experienced a 12 percent increase in aircraft production at our Savannah facility and we have every reason to believe that growth will continue. This expansion is necessary to meet the industry’s projected increase in demand for new business-jet aircraft and the maintenance that will follow.
"While Gulfstream may be an international company, our roots are deeply embedded in Georgia and Savannah," Moss continued. "We appreciate the assistance and cooperation we have received from the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Savannah Economic Development Authority, Chatham County and the City of Savannah in supporting our site expansion."
To ensure a growing pool of potential employees to fill the more than 1,000 jobs created by this expansion plan, Gulfstream will participate in new job training programs. In addition to the State of Georgia's Quick Start program, Gulfstream will work with Savannah Technical College on programs specially tailored for Gulfstream's employment needs.
First, Savannah Technical College will open a new airframe and powerplant certification school to train and license future maintenance technicians. Second, the college will offer training paths in Structural Assembly/Avionics/Airframe and Powerplant; Structural Assembly/Wood Shop/Aircraft Interiors; Materials/Warehouse Distribution; and Administrative/Accounting/Customer Service. Gulfstream has guaranteed a job interview to any student who successfully completes one of these training paths.
The company's $300 million, seven-year, Long-Range Facilities Master Plan includes a new 570,000-square-foot service center -- more than twice the size of the existing Savannah Service Center. The new service center will be constructed on 76.6 acres at the southwest quadrant of the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport that will be leased from the Airport Commission. The southwest quadrant site also will include an independent fuel farm and a 42,600-square-foot, state-of-the-art paint hangar.
Gulfstream's existing 209,000-square-foot Savannah Service Center at the company's main site will be converted into a manufacturing facility, and a new 222,000-square-foot manufacturing building will be constructed directly adjacent to the current service center. Additionally, Gulfstream will construct another new 42,600-square-foot paint hangar at the main site.
Gulfstream's main building, which houses executive offices and numerous support organizations, including its Marketing and Sales departments, will be renovated to include a new Sales and Design Center. Customers visiting the Sales and Design Center will have access to the latest technological tools to assist in selecting their aircraft's floorplan and furnishings. The plan also includes a new 140,000-square-foot engineering building at the northeast end of the main site.
As part of the expansion, Gulfstream will upgrade site infrastructure, including improvements to the railway delivery and water drainage systems. Gulfstream, the Georgia Department of Transportation, Chatham County and the City of Savannah will work together to improve traffic access routes to Gulfstream's facilities.
In choosing contractors and subcontractors for the expansion, Gulfstream will continue its existing policy of providing opportunities to small, women-owned, disadvantaged, veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran businesses, and Historically Underutilized Business zones.
Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), designs, develops, manufactures, markets, services and supports the world’s most technologically advanced business-jet aircraft. Gulfstream has produced more than 1,500 aircraft for customers around the world since 1958. To meet the diverse transportation needs of the future, Gulfstream offers a comprehensive fleet of aircraft, comprising the wide-cabin, high-speed Gulfstream G150; the large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G200; the large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G350; the large-cabin, long-range G450; the large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G500 and the large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G550. Gulfstream also offers aircraft ownership services via Gulfstream Financial Services Division and Gulfstream Pre-Owned Aircraft Sales. The company employs more than 7,900 people at seven major locations. We invite you to visit our Web site for more information and photos of Gulfstream aircraft at www.gulfstream.com.
General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, employs approximately 72,200 people worldwide and had 2005 revenue of $21.2 billion. The company is a market leader in mission-critical information systems and technologies; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and business aviation. More information can be found online at www.generaldynamics.com.