GKN Aerospace today announced that it is to take ownership and operational control of aircraft wing operations at the former Airbus manufacturing site in Filton, Gloucestershire.
The announcement follows European Regulatory approval of the £136m deal made in September last year which is expected to place GKN as the leading aircraft supplier in Europe.
Filton has 1500 employees and its acquisition will bring the GKN’s global workforce to 10,000. In addition to increasing European operations, the deal is expected strengthen GKN’s foothold in the global market by increasing growth opportunities in areas such as carbon fibre wing structures and next generation single-aisle airliners.
The deal is also hoped to improve GKN’s strategic partnership with Airbus’ wing structure programmes by providing support for projects such as the A350 XWB. Filton will play a central role in this by housing a new composite manufacturing facility dedicated to producing wing trailing edge and wing spar and assemblies.
Marcus Bryson, chief executive of GKN Aerospace said: ‘This is a landmark day for our worldwide business, for the regional aerospace cluster around Bristol and the UK aerospace sector, and for the 1500 people joining us today.
‘This is just the first day in our long term plan to grow the Filton operation and the capabilities of our team here to create a global centre of excellence for wing structures serving our international customer base.
‘Looking ahead, by investing in our facilities and in the workforce at Filton and incorporating this operation into our highly competitive global business, we will also be very well positioned to support a wide range of customers, to participate fully in the Next Generation Single Aisle (NGSA) and to gain a significant portion of the global wing structures market over the next 30 – 40 years.’