Aviation

Spirit AeroSystems expanding, adding jobs in Scotland

Spirit AeroSystems’ plant in Prestwick, Scotland, includes automation on its Airbus A320 production line.
Spirit AeroSystems’ plant in Prestwick, Scotland, includes automation on its Airbus A320 production line. The Wichita Eagle

Spirit AeroSystems will manufacture new composite spoilers for Airbus at its United Kingdom facility and add workers there, the Wichita-based aircraft supplier confirmed Wednesday.

The confirmation comes after the Daily Record in Scotland reported Wednesday that Spirit would add 100 jobs at the 700-employee site in Prestwick and expand its facilities there because of the new spoiler work. The Daily Record report also said a $2.7 million “package … has been signed off for a new production shed at Prestwick.”

Spirit spokesman Jarrod Bartlett on Wednesday wouldn’t confirm the exact number of new jobs the work will mean at Prestwick.

“But there will be additional jobs at the Prestwick site to support the work,” Bartlett said.

Spirit’s Prestwick site primarily manufactures parts of Airbus jets.

The Eagle previously reported that the new spoiler work for Airbus’ A320 and A321 passenger jets was a direct result of the company’s focus on research and development into advanced composites, with that activity taking place in Wichita and Prestwick.

What those teams came up with are new methods for making out-of-autoclave thermoset and thermoplastic composites, which are cheaper and faster methods to manufacturing composite parts for airliners.

That led to Airbus selecting Spirit for manufacture of the next-generation spoilers for Airbus’ most-popular narrowbody airliners.

Spirit officials are hoping the new composite manufacturing processes will lead to additional work for Airbus as well as Boeing, its largest customer.

Jerry Siebenmark: 316-268-6576, @jsiebenmark

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