This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
Boeing is suspending operations at its military rotorcraft assembly plant in Ridley Township, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia effective today “in light of the company's continuous assessment of the spread of Covid-19 in the region,” the company said in a statement on Thursday. The facility employs 4,600 and is responsible for production of the Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor fuselage, the CH-47 Chinook tandem-rotor aircraft, and outfitting of the USAF MH-139A Grey Wolf from Leonardo.
Boeing said the suspension would last until April 20. During the shutdown the company will conduct a deep cleaning of its facilities at the site, establish “rigorous” criteria for return to work, and “monitor government guidance and actions on Covid-19 and associated impacts on company operations.” Employees who cannot work from home will receive paid leave for 10 working days, double the normal company policy.
"Suspending operations at our vital military rotorcraft facilities is a serious step, but a necessary one for the health and safety of our employees and their communities," said Steve Parker, Boeing Vertical Lift vice president and general manager. "We're working closely with government and public health officials in the tri-state region. We're also in contact with our customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders affected by this temporary suspension.”