Cessna Aircraft Today Announced Closing Of Plants Cutting Personnel





Cessna Aircraft Today Announced Closing Of Plants Cutting Personnel 

By Mike Mitchell

December 14, 23009 - Cessna Aircraft today announced to its employees it is beginning a six to 24-month process to transition work from its facility in Columbus, Ga. to Cessna facilities in Independence, Kansas and Mexico. The Columbus facility will close at the end of the transition process. Cessna will also accelerate its plans to move sub-assembly work from its Wichita facilities to facilities in Mexico. 

Cessna has already taken several steps to reduce their capacity including closing facilities in Bend, OR and Toledo, OH and consolidating facilities in Columbus, GA and in Wichita. The transition process of work from their Columbus and Wichita facilities will be six to 24 months. At the end of the transition process, the Columbus facility will close and the site sold.

There are 315 jobs that will “go away” in Columbus and about 175 jobs in Wichita that will “go away”. It is believed that many of these jobs are headed for Mexico.

Chinese production controversy - Since November 2007, the company has been involved in a public controversy regarding the contracting of production of the Cessna 162 SkyCatcher to the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation of the People's Republic of China.

On 27 November 2007, Cessna announced the new Cessna 162 would be made in the People's Republic of China by Shenyang Aircraft Corporation, which is a subsidiary of China Aviation Industry Corporation I (AVIC I), a Chinese government-owned consortium of aircraft manufacturers. By manufacturing the aircraft in China, Cessna reports it saved USD $71,000 in production costs per aircraft, or about 40% of the cost. A second reason cited for moving production to Shenyang Aircraft Corporation was Cessna has no plant capacity available in the USA.  

Cessna received a high degree of negative feedback from 162 customers and potential customers regarding this decision. Complaints centered around the recent problems with Chinese production of other consumer products, China's human rights record, exporting of jobs, and China's less than friendly political relationship with the USA. The backlash surprised Cessna and resulted in a company public relations campaign to try to explain the decision from a business perspective and assure customers that quality of the aircraft will not be compromised. The reaction to the explanations and assurances has been overwhelmingly negative, although a small number of customers have applauded the production in China.  

In early 2009 the company attracted further criticism for continuing plans to build the 162 in China while laying off large numbers of workers in the USA.  


The Cessna Aircraft Company is an airplane manufacturing corporation headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, USA. Their main products are general aviation aircraft. Although they are the most well-known for their small, piston-powered aircraft, they also produce business jets. The company is a subsidiary of the U.S. conglomerate Textron. 

The company traces its history to June 1911, when Clyde Cessna, a farmer in Rago, Kansas, built a wood-and-fabric plane and became the first person to build and fly an aircraft between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. Cessna started his aircraft ventures in Enid, Oklahoma, testing many of his early planes on the salt flats. When bankers in Enid refused to lend him more money to build his planes, he moved to Wichita.  

In 1924, Cessna partnered with Lloyd C. Stearman and Walter H. Beech to form the Travel Air, Inc., a biplane manufacturing firm. This company was based in Wichita. In 1927, Clyde Cessna left Travel Air and formed his own company, the Cessna Aircraft Company. Instead of producing biplanes, he instead decided to focus on building monoplanes. The first flew on August 13, 1927.

Cessna Aircraft Company closed its doors from 1932 until 1934 due to the state of the economy. In 1934, Dwane Wallace, with the help of his brother Dwight, took control of the company and began the process of building it into what would become a global success. During the mid to late 1930s, Cessna developed and produced the single engine Airmaster and the twin-engine T-50 light aircraft. 

After World War II, Cessna created the 170, which, along with later models (notably the 172), became the most widely produced light aircraft in history. Cessna's advertising boasts that it has delivered more aircraft than any other company, over 190,000 by the end of 2008. In 1972 Cessna became the first aircraft manufacturer in the world to build 100,000 aircraft. The 100,000th aircraft was one of 24 Cessnas of various models displayed at Transpo 72.  

On 27 November, 2007, Textron announced that Cessna had purchased the bankrupt Columbia Aircraft company for US$26.4M and would continue production of the Columbia 350 and 400 as the Cessna 350 and Cessna 400 at the Columbia factory in Bend, Oregon. There had been speculation that the acquisition of the Columbia line would spell the end of the Cessna NGP project, but on September 26, 2007, Cessna Vice President for Sales, Roger Whyte, confirmed that development of the NGP project will continue, unaffected by the purchase of Columbia.  

In 1985 Cessna was bought by General Dynamics Corporation and in 1986 production of piston-engine aircraft was suspended. General Dynamics cited product liability as the cause. The then-CEO Russ Meyer said that production would resume if a more favorable product liability environment developed. In 1992, Textron Inc. bought Cessna and, after passage of the General Aviation Revitalization Act of 1994, resumed production of the piston-engine 172, 182, and 206 designs.  

Currently, Cessna produces 2-, 4- and 6-place single-engine airplanes, utility turboprops, and business jets.

 ©AvStop Online Magazine                                                                 Contact Us                                                  Return To News


AvStop Aviation News and Resource Online Magazine

Grab this Headline Animator