EVERETT, Wash. - Boeing is running out of room. About 55 787 Dreamliners await modifications before they can be handed over to the airlines that bought them. Meanwhile, the factory cranks out more.
The 787 is three years behind schedule. But those troubles are fading.
Obviously, a big part of what Boeing needs to do is speed up deliveries of 787s and clear out Paine field.
On Monday, Boeing handed the keys to two of those Dreamliners to Japan Airline, making a total of seven deliveries so far. By the end of this year, it could deliver 35 more. It will need to, in the face of increasing demand.
“We're going to grow. We're going to grow here in Puget Sound. We're going to grow in Charleston, We're going to grow in Salt Lake in Winnepeg,” said Jim Albaugh, CEO Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Albaugh confirmed the company wants to buy more land near Charleston, South Carolina. It's the only other place where the company also builds 787s.
“You want to have some property in case you want to expand. We have no plans to do that, but you need to anticipate, anything that might come along,” he said.
Right now, the company is expanding within the confines of its own factories. It's investing money in Renton, where Boeing is speeding up its assembly lines to build 42 737s each month, and maybe even more.
Boeing is investing more money in Everett, where it's studying a new version of the successful 777. But what if, like the 787, it starts running out of room?
Workers, including Mike Heggie, do worry about jobs....
“I'd like to see all the jobs stay up here, no matter what,” said Heggie.
“The work force here is terrific. I couldn't be happier with the work they do,” said Albaugh
It’s a work force that's also expected to keep growing by the thousands.