Icon Aircraft will open a composite parts facility in Tijuana, Mexico, to support final assembly of its two-seat A5 amphibious airplanes in Vacaville, California, the company announced Sept. 7.
“Icon will own or control all manufacturing operations related to its composite fabrication in Mexico,” said Kirk Hawkins, Icon founder and CEO. “Parts will be made on Icon tooling, by Icon processes, to Icon standards, in Icon facilities. These parts were previously outsourced to non-Icon suppliers but will now be insourced under Icon’s direct control.”
Icon and Cirrus have gone their separate ways.
“While Icon and Cirrus are still close, they’re no longer a direct part of our production supply chain,” Hawkins said. “We will now make our own composite parts in our own facility.”
Hawkins said Icon made the move to reduce costs and increase control over the manufacturing process.
Thomas Wieners will manage Icon’s Mexico operation. He previously ran manufacturing centers in Mexico for Bombardier, which builds Sea-Doo engines and components there.
Icon announced this summer it will postpone customer aircraft deliveries until 2017 while it prepares for high-rate production. The company has taken deposits for more than 1,800 aircraft.
Icon currently has parts on hand to produce about 30 aircraft, and it recently completed its twelfth in Vacaville. The company also has begun offering flight training to Icon customers at Vacaville, and it recently opened a training facility at Peter O. Knight Airport in Tampa, Florida.