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MCDONNELL TO OPEN TALKS ON TAD PLANT

The Consolidated Maintenance Facility at Tooele Army Depot is among a number of places aerospace manufacturer McDonnell Douglas is considering as a subassembly site for it MD-11 commercial aircraft.

Next week, the representatives of the aerospace manufacturer will enter lease negotiations with the Tooele Reuse Committee for the use of the 376,000 square foot facility.Douglas Aircraft, the commercial aircraft division of McDonnell Douglas is shopping for a new home for subassembly of it MD-11 airplane because subcontractor General Dynamics will discontinue the work by the end of 1995, said Don Hanson, spokesman for Douglas Aircraft.

"We will take that work back and decide where to get it done other than San Diego. That change will be done over the next year. We expect to have the work out of San Diego by the end of 1995," Hanson said.

McDonnell Douglas is also considering Utah as a location for assembly of its MD-95, a craft intended to replace the aging fleet of DC-9s.

"We're still looking at possible locations for that (the planned MD-95) and that list hasn't changed," Hanson said. "It needs to be understood on the Tooele business there's no decision on that either."

Thus far, Tooele County officials consider the McDonnell Douglas offer the best proposal on the table. Officials estimate the aircraft work could bring 1,100 jobs to the area. If negotiations break down, the county will entertain other proposals, officials said.

Utahns have heard offers of thousands of McDonnell Douglas jobs during the past five years. In 1991, the company considered Utah a finalist for the MD-12 jumbo-liner assembly plant that could have created up to 12,000 jobs in the state. After a protracted bidding process among nine cities,the project was scrubbed.

The proposed MD-95, officials say, could provide 1,000 direct jobs and spin off 4,000 others.

Unlike the MD-12 or MD-95, McDonnell Douglas has orders for the MD-11. Earlier this year, the Saudi Arabian government placed orders for 15 MD-11s.

McDonnell Douglas' Utah operation near the Salt Lake International Airport has been primarily involved in the subassembly work for its MD-80 and MD-90 aircraft. Since 1992, its work force has dropped from 613 workers to about 270. Further cuts have been minimized as the company has moved subassembly work from Long Beach, Calif., and Macon, Ga.