Boeing announced plans late last year to begin building a 230,000-square-foot paint facility on its main campus in North Charleston in the second half of 2014. The company expects to begin painting fully assembled 787 Dreamliners in North Charleston in mid-2016.
Local employees will apply customer liveries to Boeing South Carolina-built 787s at the facility. Currently, all locally-built 787s are flown to Fort Worth, Texas, for final paint and then flown back to South Carolina for customer delivery.
"Painting our airplanes in South Carolina supports our lean manufacturing and production optimization initiatives," said Jack Jones, Boeing South Carolina's vice president and general manager, in a statement.
The June 2 filing shows that Gulf Stream Construction Co. of North Charleston is prepping the site, putting utilities underground, paving areas and performing site engineering. Site prep also includes relocating "Pond 2."
This is part of Boeing's plans to expand its 787 Dreamliner final assembly campus in North Charleston. Boeing announced late last year plans to build up to seven more manufacturing buildings, up to 400,000 square feet of office buildings and a third paint hangar sometime after 2016. The expansion also calls for nine more slots for a total of 16 on the flightline.
The expansion confirms Boeing's committment to the Lowcountry, according to the company. Some aerospace analysts say it could signify that Boeing plans to assemble other 787 derivatives in South Carolina.
Boeing South Carolina builds the aft and midbody for all Dreamliner models, which includes the 787-8 currently and the 787-9 this fall. The 787-8 is assembled in both the Lowcountry and Puget Sound, while the 787-9 is currently assembled in Everett, Wash. The 787-10 final assembly site announcement is expected sometime this year.