A consortium of business, government and educational organizations in the greater Wichita area has formed a Wichita Aero Club. The group plans to host monthly luncheons and invite high-profile speakers to address major aviation industry issues.
Wichita-based Spirit AeroSystems (Booth No. 3888) announced plans to build a 375,000-sq-ft factory to accommodate the manufacturing and testing of the Cessna Citation Columbus. The airplane assembly and component supplier signed an agreement with Cessna earlier this year to produce the Citation’s fuselage and empennage.
Unionized aircraft assembly workers returned to work September 2 at Hawker Beechcraft plants in Wichita and Salina, Kan., after a four-week strike. Seventy-seven percent of the 5,200 workers voted for a contract offer that increased wages, maintained previous health-care benefits and raised pension contributions.
While the composite structure, electrical harness and sub-assembly installation for Bombardier’s new Learjet 85 will be done at its Querétaro facility in Mexico, final assembly and interior completion work will be done at the company’s Wichita facility…Aero Toy Store has completed a new 45,000-sq-ft expansion in Montreal, including the 15,000-sq-ft completion center.
Hawker Beechcraft late last month completed the sale of the majority of its wholly owned fuel and line operations to Signature Flight Support parent company BBA Aviation. The transaction included operations in Atlanta; Houston and San Antonio, Texas; Indianapolis; Tampa, Fla.; Wichita; and Van Nuys, Calif. Hawker Beechcraft will retain its factory-owned maintenance and customer support facilities located at these locations.
Avmats marked its 30th anniversary on April 29 with a gathering for customers in Kansas City, Mo. The event was held at the Airline History Museum at Kansas City Downtown Airport.
Attendees and their families toured the museum and aircraft and had a chance to meet with former Kansas City Chiefs football player Louie Aguiar.
AeroCourier Group announced it received a launch order for 20 aircraft from AirShares Elite. The turboprop freight hauler is currently in the first year of a three-year design and development program, and the company said it has raised an undisclosed amount of seed money to start development work in its Bloomington., Minn., and Wichita operations.
More than 200 pilots and other crewmembers representing 94 different business aircraft operators attended Bombardier’s sixth annual Safety Standdown, held in Wichita from October 22 to 24. The free three-day event provided recurrent and update training for business aircraft crews and included hands-on training simulations and presentations covering fatigue countermeasures, aviation psychology, applied aerodynamics and professional airmanship.
In her first official visit outside Washington since she took office, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey traveled to Wichita last month, where she toured Raytheon Aircraft and Cessna and spoke with others at General Aviation Manufacturers Association member companies.
Placing the blame primarily on a “severe downturn” in the U.S. business aviation market, Canadian OEM Bombardier last week slashed its net-income target for the current fiscal year by 21 percent. The company, which saw its business aircraft deliveries drop from 114 in the first half of last year to 74 for the same period this year, said the forecast includes a “one-time charge” to write down the value of used business aircraft.