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    Hawker Beechcraft shutting down operations in Little Rock

    5:15 PM, Nov 7, 2012   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- According to our partners at Arkansas Business, Hawker Beechcraft Inc. out of Kansas said today that it plans to shut down its operations in Little Rock.

    According to HBS CEO Steve Miller, and Chairman Bill Boisture, the company will close facilities in Little Rock, Ark.; Mesa, Ariz.; and San Antonio, Texas, effecting approximately 240 employees.

    The company would also implement a reduction in force that will affect approximately 170 employees at Hawker Beechcraft Corporation in Wichita, Kan., and Little Rock. And, more than half of those employees currently work at the Little Rock Completions Center.

    "This is not only terrible news for Hawker Beechcraft employees and their families, it's a blow to Arkansas's aerospace manufacturing development," said Congressman Tim Griffin , R-District Two. "My heart is with all of those affected by this announcement, and I will continue to push for policies that strengthen our economy and create new job opportunities for hardworking Arkansans."

    The impacted employees at the 3 HBS locations will be notified on the week of Nov. 12, employees in Wichita will be notified Friday, Nov. 9, and employees at the Little Rock Completions Center will be notified Monday, Nov. 12.

    This information came after the company's recent announcement to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a standalone company.

    Hawker, which filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May, employs about 280 people at Adams Field in Little Rock, where it finishes out its line of private jets.

    According to Arkansas Business, a deal with Super Aviation from Beijing and Hawker almost happened earlier this year. That deal was worth $1.8 billion and would have saved a lot of jobs at the Little Rock plant.

    As recently as 6 years ago, the company employed more 600 workers at its 247,000 sq. ft. operation at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport, but officials said since the economic downturn in 2008, the demand for private jets have gone down.

    A spokesman for the company said the closures and layoffs will help with its plan to focus on turboprop, piston and military aircraft and on its parts and maintenance business.


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