GKN assumes control of former Airbus UK plant

GKN bought the facility from Airbus and will likely make composite structures for the forthcoming Airbus A350 XWB.

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Following European regulatory approval, GKN Aerospace (Cowes, Isle of Wight, U.K.) has taken ownership and operational control of the former Airbus UK wing component manufacturing and assembly facility in Filton, U.K. GKN bought the facility in 2008 as part of Airbus’ “Power8” production restructuring effort. GKN Aerospace – Filton, as it will be known, is a composites manufacturing center and very likely will make wing components for the forthcoming Airbus A350 XWB.

At the facility opening, GKN Aerospace chief executive, Marcus Bryson, said, “This is a landmark day for our worldwide business, for the regional aerospace cluster around Bristol and the U.K. aerospace sector, and for the 1,500 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 center of excellence for wing structures serving our international customer base.”

A new, dedicated composite-manufacturing facility at Filton will use the latest in automated technologies to produce the A350 XWB’s wing trailing edge and wing spar and assemblies. The acquisition, with the associated life-of-program contracts and A350 XWB work package, doubles the GKN Aerospace order book for large civil aircraft structures.