January 13, 2009
AOPA Publications staff
Cessna Aircraft Company officials announced Jan. 12 that it must lay off 2,000 workers as the company tries to adjust the production schedule because of deferred or canceled business jet orders.
NetJets is one of the larger customers now deferring the delivery of new aircraft. Even those in Wichita who are close to the aviation industry had predicted a layoff of only 1,000 workers. The cuts will come from throughout the company, the Wichita Eagle reported. Cessna has 12,000 workers in Wichita; 1,300 in Independence, Kan.; and additional workers at Columbus, Ga.; Bend, Ore.; and Chihuahua, Mexico.
Cessna officials will determine in the next 60 days which workers are affected and issue layoff notices. Cuts will come from the ranks of hourly and salaried workers. Cessna previously announced layoffs of 500 workers in Wichita and 165 at the Columbia aircraft factory in Bend. That brings the total layoffs to 2,165.
By comparison, Seattle-based Boeing has announced it is laying off 4,500 workers, with 800 of those located in Wichita. That is partially because of some programs reaching a previously scheduled termination.
Only 10 percent of the aircraft excise taxes that Washington aircraft owners pay go to the Washington State Division of Aeronautics, while the other 90 percent go into the general fund. AOPA is advocating for legislation that would direct 100 percent of the tax to aviation use.
A Seattle pilot on a ferry flight from California to Maui deployed his airframe parachute near Hawaii and was videotaped by the Coast Guard.
Piper’s latest edition of the Meridian pressurized turboprop features updated avionics and six seats in club configuration for $2.26 million.
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