However, a regulatory filing indicates that the aerospace manufacturer is gearing up for an even more substantial increase in the future, reported PostandCourier.
Boeing to Double 787 Production
Boeing recently submitted a request to modify an environmental permit for its facility off International Boulevard, seeking approval to manufacture up to 14 Dreamliners per month. This application, filed with the S.C. Department of Environmental Control, is considered a minor revision with no impacts on wetlands, and it is expected to receive approval in the coming months.
The existing permit permits a monthly production of up to seven wide-body 787 jets, a number the company anticipates surpassing in the next few years.
Earlier this year, CEO Dave Calhoun informed analysts that the Dreamliner program “is showing improved stability,” and the company is on schedule for the production rate to increase to 10 per month by 2025 and 2026.
At present, the Lowcountry plant is manufacturing five 787 jets every month.
According to a DHEC spokeswoman, the proposed permit revision aims to align the assembly building with all other structures at the North Charleston campus, which are already permitted for the production of up to 14 planes per month.
With the global airline industry recovering from the pandemic and an anticipated rise in consumer demand for travel in the coming years, there is a high demand for the Dreamliner.
Boeing has projected a need for an additional 7,440 long-haul, wide-body jets like the Dreamliner over the next two decades to replace aging aircraft and expand fleet capacity.
Huge Orders Backlog
In early 2021, the company consolidated all 787 production to its Lowcountry plant, and as of November 30, it had a backlog of 744 unfilled 787 orders. This total encompasses deals made over the past year, such as United Airlines (UA) committing to purchase 150 jets and Saudia Airlines (SV) and Riyadh Air (RX) acquiring an additional 78.
Simultaneously, Boeing’s North Charleston plant is preparing to construct an additional stall along the flight line to augment parking capacity for completed Dreamliners.
Samet Corp has recently submitted a notice to Charleston County, indicating readiness to commence construction of a 10th stall where 787s can be towed post-production.
The new space is slated for the southern side of the flight line along South Aviation Avenue, necessitating a minor realignment of a road on Boeing’s property.
The expansion plan, announced earlier this year, also encompasses the construction of a new shelter building for the Boeing crew, as outlined in the notice.
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