March 16, 2012
By Jim Moore
Union workers celebrated news that Hawker Beechcraft has opted not to close one of its Wichita, Kan., factories as previously planned, a decision that will save 300 jobs according to local media.
The company employs about 4,700 workers in Wichita, and has been working to cut costs since the economy collapsed—and the business jet market with it—in 2008. A memo issued by a joint committee of company and union officials, provided to AOPA Online, stated that the fabrication plant once slated for a 2011 shut-down will play a key role as the company works to increase production efficiency, and reduce cost while maintaining quality.
“The dialogue has been open and honest, and is a continuation of the framework of trust and confidence developed during 2011 negotiations,” the memo states. “Assuming aircraft build rates remain at current levels, the overall volume of work performed in Plant I is expected to be maintained while this revised strategy is developed and implemented.”
Analysts have expressed concern over the company’s debt, and Hawker-Beechcraft hired Robert “Steve” Miller, a CEO known for turning the financial fortunes of struggling companies, in February amid rumors the company will seek bankruptcy protection.
Union leaders told the Wichita Eagle there was much celebration as news of the plant’s preservation spread. A message left with the union office March 16 was not immediately returned.
Aircraft Power and Fuel
Engine overhauler Penn Yan Aero announced that it is extending the warranties on overhauled and experimental aircraft engines, effective immediately.
Members of the Mohawk Flying Club have access to upgraded aircraft and low flying costs.
According to the most recent Joseph T. Nall Report, in 2010 there were 43 accidents involving weather, and 28 of them were fatal. In fact, weather accidents are the most consistently fatal types of accidents.
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