Boeing to Close its Facility in Wichita, Kan., by Late 2013

Jan. 4, 2012
The company cited defense-budget cuts 'as well as shifting customer priorities' for the closure of the facility, which employs more than 2,160 people.

Boeing Co. said it will close its Wichita, Kan., facility by the end of 2013, asserting that defense-budget cuts "as well as shifting customer priorities" prompted the decision.

The facility, operated by the Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) unit, employs more than 2,160 people.

"In this time of defense-budget reductions, as well as shifting customer priorities, Boeing has decided to close its operations in Wichita to reduce costs, increase efficiencies and drive competitiveness," said Mark Bass, vice president and general manager for BDS' Maintenance, Modifications & Upgrades division."

Job cuts will begin in the third quarter of 2012, Bass added.

The Wichita facility is the hub for Boeing's Global Transport & Executive Systems business and its B-52 and 767 international tanker programs.

The facility also provides support for flight mission planning and integrated logistics.

"Over the past five years, contracts in Wichita have matured, programs have come to a close or are winding down, and the site does not have enough sustainable business on the horizon to create an affordable cost structure to maintain and win new business," the company said in a news release.

Future aircraft maintenance, modification and support work will move to Boeing facility's in San Antonio, while engineering work will move to its facility in Oklahoma City, the company said.

Work on the KC-46 aerial-refueling tanker for the Air Force will shift to Boeing's site in Puget Sound, Wash., although the company noted that "the 24 Kansas suppliers on the program will be providing vital elements of the aircraft as originally planned."

"The decision to close our Wichita facility was difficult but ultimately was based on a thorough study of the current and future market environment and our ability to remain competitive while meeting our customers' needs with the best and most affordable solutions," Bass said.

"We recognize how this will affect the lives of the highly skilled men and women who work here, so we will do everything possible to assist our employees, their families and our community through this difficult transition."

Boeing said it is providing retirement seminars, job-search resources, financial counseling and job-placement assistance to workers at the facility.

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About the Author

Josh Cable | Former Senior Editor

Former Senior Editor Josh Cable covered innovation issues -- including trends and best practices in R&D, process improvement and product development. He also reported on the best practices of the most successful companies and executives in the world of transportation manufacturing, which encompasses the aerospace, automotive, rail and shipbuilding sectors. 

Josh also led the IndustryWeek Manufacturing Hall of Fame, IW’s annual tribute to the most influential executives and thought leaders in U.S. manufacturing history.

Before joining IndustryWeek, Josh was the editor-in-chief of Penton Media’s Government Product News and Government Procurement. He also was an award-winning beat reporter for several small newspapers in Northeast Ohio.

Josh received his BFA in creative writing from Bowling Green University, and continued his professional development through course-work at Ohio University and Cuyahoga Community College.

A lifelong resident of the Buckeye State, Josh currently lives in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland. When the weather cooperates, you’ll find him riding his bike to work, exercising his green thumb in the backyard or playing ultimate Frisbee.  

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