The wheel assembly on a large commercial aircraft showing the brakes.Collins Aerospace, a major aerospace manufacturer, has announced a $200 million expansion in the West Plains area of Spokane. The new 70,000-square-foot facility will add at least 50 new jobs.

The factory, which makes composite brakes for military and commercial aircraft, will more than double in size with the announced expansion. When complete, Collins Aerospace will have three new buildings at their 11135 W. Westbow Blvd. location.

Collins first announced plans for the expansion in 2020, according to The Spokesman-Review. The company’s parent, RTX, purchased the factory in 1999. It currently employs 200 people.

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

The advantage of carbon brakes is that they are lighter and stronger than traditional steel or iron brakes. Given that most large aircraft have multiple landing gears, all needing brakes, the weight savings can be substantial.

“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,” Gov. Jay Inslee remarked.

Read all about it in The Spokesman-Review…