GE Aviation in Lafayette begins production of new Passport engine

GE Aviation in Lafayette is assembling new Passport engines alongside the popular LEAP engines already in production.

Posted: Oct 8, 2020 4:00 PM
Updated: Oct 8, 2020 6:33 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - GE Aviation in Lafayette is assembling new Passport engines alongside the popular LEAP engines already in production

The announcement came today as community leaders celebrated the plant's fifth year of business.

"If I can have more products, I have a chance to face more challenges ahead in the aviation industry," says Renato Vidal, Lafayette plant leader. 

The main difference between the two engines is high volume versus high performance. LEAP engines are in high demand for aircraft like the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 Max.

The Passport engine is a high-power engine built for long distances and reliability. It will power a business jet called the Bombardier Global 7500 Series.

Vidal says two to three Passport engines will be assembled per week compared to 10 to 11 LEAP engines per week. 

"When you compare both products, I usually say that, of course, the volume you can't compare, but the technology inside of both of them is really impressive," he says. 

Vidal says the versatility of the Lafayete facility is the secret to rebounding from COVID-19.

"Of course, you have some orders that were postponed or some airlines that are not being able to use the aircrafts right now with the same demand that we had before," he says.

The plant has reduced its workforce by 22 percent since the pandemic began.

"Right now, I think one of the main challenges that we have, like we mentioned here today, is to not only secure the jobs that we have, bring some people back, but add future jobs," Vidal says. 

The plant originally planned to hire up to 300 people but right now employs 150 people. 

"The expectation that we have is that within the next year, or the next couple of years, we can definitely bring back people and keep growing the site as the original plan was," Vidal says. 

Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski says he's happy so far with the plant's progress.

"It takes a while to get a facility like this ramped up and to get the people hired," he says. "You've got to have a lot of qualifications, you've got to have certifications."

Roswarski says production of the Passport engine was moved from Kansas to Lafayette.

"That says a lot about what GE corporate thinks about this facility, thinks about this community and it's long-term future," he says. 

West Lafayette
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 73°
Kokomo
Partly Cloudy
71° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 71°
Rensselaer
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 72°
Fowler
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 73°
Williamsport
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 72°
Crawfordsville
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 70°
Frankfort
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 70°
Delphi
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 69°
Monticello
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 69°
Logansport
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 66°
More sun, warmer temps with increasing humidity
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 775686

Reported Deaths: 14025
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1066871814
Lake572681031
Allen43500701
Hamilton37653427
St. Joseph37508568
Elkhart29882471
Tippecanoe23732232
Vanderburgh23634405
Porter19690327
Johnson19020394
Hendricks18271323
Clark13730199
Madison13719348
Vigo12949256
Monroe12691180
LaPorte12645225
Delaware11218198
Howard10832237
Kosciusko9851124
Hancock8855150
Bartholomew8343157
Warrick8216157
Floyd8128183
Grant7457181
Boone7289105
Wayne7273201
Morgan6988143
Marshall6376117
Dubois6327118
Cass6130112
Noble607391
Dearborn605878
Henry6001111
Jackson520977
Shelby514898
Lawrence5020128
Gibson471697
Montgomery464792
Clinton462755
DeKalb461485
Harrison459277
Huntington429082
Whitley421045
Steuben414561
Miami411573
Jasper403957
Knox397291
Putnam388762
Wabash373884
Adams358956
Ripley354571
Jefferson351487
White341854
Daviess3110100
Wells305981
Greene298485
Decatur294393
Posey288235
Fayette287764
Scott285458
LaGrange278873
Clay277649
Washington257638
Randolph248583
Jennings243349
Spencer240531
Fountain239050
Starke231559
Owen226759
Sullivan224143
Fulton210446
Jay204132
Carroll200623
Orange194456
Perry193139
Vermillion183444
Rush179127
Tipton174348
Franklin173935
Parke157816
Pike144034
Blackford138732
Pulaski124748
Newton124137
Benton111615
Brown106743
Crawford106716
Martin92715
Warren88715
Switzerland8568
Union73910
Ohio58711
Unassigned0429

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events