Hawker Beechcraft announced on February 24 the opening of a new $20 million facility in Chihuahua City, Mexico, that will be employed primarily in sheet metal fabrication.
According to Hawker Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture, the 180,000-sq-foot building is one of two at the Chihuahua site, where a third will be added later this year. By year-end, the Chihuahua footprint will total some 500,000 sq ft, and employment will grow from 400 to 1,000 workers.
Components produced at the Mexico facilities, including wiring bundles, are shipped to Wichita, where they are integrated into the King Air and Hawker assembly process.
“As part of the agreement reached with the state of Kansas in December, we’ve committed to Wichita for final aircraft assembly,” said Boisture.
The 800-job reduction in force at Hawker Beechcraft announced in 2009 is part of a strategy announced by Boisture in October 2009 to “streamline the company.” It is a strategy that included the movement of most of those jobs to its Mexico facilities and the outsourcing of a smaller number to mostly Kansas-based suppliers. –K.J.H.