The 2019 reprieve negotiated by the Trump administration and several congressional leaders to keep Sikorsky’s Coatesville, Pennsylvania helicopter plant open was apparently short-lived. On Thursday, parent company Lockheed Martin announced that it is shuttering the plant effective March 2022.
Coatesville is where completion work is done on Sikorsky S-92 and S-76 helicopters. Lockheed Martin said it is moving that work elsewhere and eliminating 240 of the plant’s 360 jobs. Sales of the S-92 and S-76 have been anemic for years. Last year, Sikorsky delivered just two civil helicopters, according to data from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.
Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pennsylvania), whose district includes the plant, expressed disappointment in the decision. “After spending the last two years working with Lockheed Martin, White House officials in two administrations, and state and local partners to find ways to enable the plant to continue operating, I am frustrated and disappointed that we find ourselves here,” she said.
In a statement issued last week, Lockheed Martin said it “has made a final decision to exit its Coatesville facility and consolidate the work in other Lockheed Martin locations due to a downturn in the commercial helicopter sector.”