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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Collins Aerospace announces $200 million West Plains factory expansion

Collins Aerospace on the West Plains announced Monday a $200 million factory expansion.  (Courtesy)

Collins Aerospace, an airplane parts manufacturer, announced Monday plans to spend $200 million to expand its carbon brake factory on the West Plains.

The spending will add about 70,000 square feet of manufacturing space, more than doubling its facility footprint with up to three new buildings at the 11135 W. Westbow Blvd. location, according to a company release.

Collins’ parent company, RTX, purchased the factory from Goodrich, which first opened the plant in 1999. Today, Collins employs about 200 people and said the expansion would add at least 50 new jobs.

Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Collins first outlined plans for the expansion in 2020, according to previous reports from The Spokesman-Review.

Carbon brakes from Collins have been used on the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, Boeing B-52 Stratofortress and Boeing Commercial aircraft.

“This expansion will enhance both our manufacturing capacity and capabilities with the latest in process innovation and efficiencies while ensuring our workforce readiness to meet the growing global demand for our carbon brakes,” Matt Maurer, vice president and general manager for landing systems at Collins, said in a company release.

On its website, Boeing officials said carbon brakes are lighter than iron or steel alternatives.

“This translates into a lighter airplane, which directly contributes to decreased fuel consumption and associated reductions in engine emissions,” a release on the company website reads.

Collins is key to the domestic production of airplanes and to the local economy of Eastern Washington, vice president Maurer said in a company release.

Gov. Jay Inslee echoed that.

“These new jobs will add to a growing aerospace sector in Spokane County, and the state has committed to partnering on further efforts that ensure the county can offer companies a world-class aerospace workforce and positive business environment,” Inslee said in a release.

Based in Arlington, Virginia, RTX consists of other aerospace companies Pratt & Whitney and Raytheon.

Neither RTX Corporation nor Collins Aerospace could be immediately reached for comment Monday afternoon.