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.
Bombardier’s Learjet 85 program continues to move forward or, perhaps more accurately, south, with plans to produce all primary structural components of the all-composite aircraft in Mexico and progress on the new facilities in Querétaro, about 130 miles north of Mexico City.
Wichita is bracing for more job cuts at Cessna Aircraft and temporary furloughs at Hawker Beechcraft.
Seventy mayors and county executives last month sent a letter to President Obama outlining the importance of general aviation to small towns and local economies across the U.S. In conjunction, Wichita mayor Carl Brewer released a separate letter to renew his call to invite the President to Wichita to witness firsthand the toll that the recent economic downturn has had on the “Air Capital of the World.”
A Beechcraft Premier IA set a speed record flying from Hawker Beechcraft’s facility in Chester, UK, to Geneva in one hour, 13 minutes and 30 seconds with an average speed of 445 knots over the distance of 545 nm. The airplane, owned by British customer Robert Kay, was flown by former astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson, who also holds altitude records in piston single-engine aircraft.
An aircraft maintenance technician who worked for Cessna Aircraft has been charged with one count of selling stolen aircraft parts, according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Kansas District. Diego Alejandro Paz Teran allegedly tried to sell stolen aircraft parts on eBay from August 2008 to Jan. 30, 2009.
Wichita’s United Way of the Plains will be opening a one-stop help center for unemployed residents and area workers to provide a range of services, including budget counseling and access to government assistance programs. In extreme cases, it will also help unemployed workers pay housing and utility bills, according to United Way of the Plains president Patrick Hanrahan.
Among other measures, manufacturers are increasingly looking to layoffs for
cost-cutting as demand dwindles and aircraft production rates drop. Analysts and industry observers look for things to get worse before they get better.
Cessna is expanding its international support network. The Wichita OEM has selected Taneja Aerospace & Aviation in India and Kinch Aviation in the UK as new factory-authorized Citation service facilities and has received corporate approval to build a new factory-owned service center in Madrid, Spain. The Madrid facility is slated to open for business in late 2010.
FlightSafety International plans to build a 33,000-sq-ft Hawker Beechcraft training center in Wichita. The facility will be equipped with classrooms and maintenance training areas. The training company will also be expanding its pilot learning center in Wichita, to include seven new simulator bays and 12 more classrooms.