The event on the 24 September was held in conjunction with BE&K/Turner, the design-builder of the facility.

The final piece of steel was put into place on the 1.1 million ft2 (102 193 m2) structure less than a year after the November 2009 groundbreaking. Approximately 18 000 tons of steel are used in the building.

"By this time next year, the Final Assembly building will be complete, and we will have begun production of the first South Carolina-built 787 Dreamliner," said Marco Cavazzoni, vice president and general manager, 787 Final Assembly and Delivery. "That is tremendous – from green-field site to airplane production in about 18 months. The support we've received and continue to receive from our South Carolina partners and suppliers, as well as the state and local community is amazing and is one of the main reasons we've been able to reach these significant milestones in such a short timeframe."

Boeing says construction on the new facility is on schedule, with aircraft production due to begin in July 2011 and first delivery in first-quarter 2012.

At full production rate, Boeing will assemble and deliver three 787s per month from South Carolina to customers around the world.