An agreement reached by Bombardier executives and Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson at the recent Farnborough airshow to secure Wichita as the final assembly location for the Learjet 85 was solidified on Friday. The now formalized agreement will retain existing operations and create a minimum of 300 new jobs at the Learjet facility. Bombardier said it will invest a total of $600 million in the Learjet 85 program in Wichita.
Some things are simply unthinkable, such as the city of Wichita without Hawker Beechcraft. But according to Machinists District 70, which represents some 2,400 hourly workers at the OEM’s Wichita plant, that’s what the company is considering.
In a letter to Hawker Beechcraft employees July 23, vice president of human resources Rich Jiwanlal dismisses union allegations that the Wichita-based OEM is planning cuts that “could shrink Hawker’s total hourly work force by as much as 75 percent within the next two years, without a guarantee of even the last few jobs remaining.” In his letter, Jiwanlal did not mention the union, but said, “News sources have speculated that 50 to 75 percent
According to Machinists District 70, which represents some 2,400 hourly workers at Hawker Beechcraft, the company is considering a move away from Wichita, the OEM’s home for more than 78 years.
The fourth Boeing Dreamlifter–the final airplane in the fleet of 747-400s specially modified to carry large sections of composite parts for the 787–entered service today, the manufacturer announced this afternoon. Dreamlifters transport the structures from partners around the world to Everett, Wash., for final assembly.
Cessna Aircraft will close its three component-production plants in Columbus, Ga., over the next 24 months and will move the work to its facilities in Independence, Kan., and Chihuahua, Mexico. In tandem, the aircraft manufacturer announced it will “accelerate” plans to move some subassembly work from its Wichita facilities to Mexico.
A new 44,000-sq-ft maintenance training center has opened near the Hawker Beechcraft (HBC) Wichita facility and is offering a full schedule of technical training courses. It is a joint effort between Hawker Beechcraft and FlightSafety International. According to Christi Tannahill, vice president for Hawker Beechcraft global customer service and support, the first course offered is MxPro.
Cessna Aircraft yesterday said it is closing its three component-production plants in Columbus, Ga., over the next six to 24 months and will move the work to its facilities in Independence, Kan., and Chihuahua, Mexico. In tandem, the aircraft manufacturer announced it will “accelerate” plans to move some subassembly work from its Wichita facilities to Mexico.
In its latest business jet market prediction covering the next 10 years, Forecast International calls for worldwide production of 11,277 business jets worth an estimated $197 billion. According to the report, total production will decline for the next two years to a low of 716 aircraft in 2011 before beginning its rise through the end of the forecast period.
Jim Ziegler joined Greenwich AeroGroup in June as president and CEO, after running North America operations for Jet Aviation and serving in various positions at Learjet and Bombardier for 21 years. A graduate of Wichita State University, Ziegler started his aviation career at Learjet in the finance department then eventually moved into managing all of Bombardier’s service facilities, Wichita manufacturing operations and completions centers.