Ground broken for huge composite wing plant for Boeing 777x

EVERETT -- Construction is under way for a new composite wing center at Boeing's Everett plant.

The 1 million-square-foot facility will manufacture wings for the new, state-of-the-art 777x airliner.

Boeing Commercial Aircraft President, Ray Conner says the new facility is the largest of its kind and represents the future of the Boeing Co. in the Puget Sound.

"This million-square-foot facility is going to house a world-class team who is going to build one of the most phenomenal wings in the world, a composite wing that going to take us into the next century," Conner said.

The 777x is the first commercial aircraft to use wings made out of composite materials.

Boeing says it will improve fuel economy and lower operating costs.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said the facility and aircraft will help secure thousands of jobs in the Northwest.

"This center will meet the demand for billions of dollars in contracts and continue to support thousands of high-quality jobs.  It's exactly the kind of investment we need."

The new wing center will employ 2,000 workers.

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., says its the future of the aerospace industry.

"This is about the future of aerospace ... not just for Washington state but the entire world, and I am so proud we are leading the way here in Everett, Washington," Cantwell said.

The construction is scheduled to be completed by 2016 and will begin production the following year.  Airlines will begin to receive the new 777x by 2020.