Airbus concluded nagotiations to sell its wing component and assemblies manufacturing uint at filton to GKN

Airbus and GKN have signed a contract under which GKN will purchase the wing component and assemblies manufacturing unit based at Airbus’ site at Filton, near Bristol, UK.  This will result in all operational business, assets and activities, within the parameters agreed, being transferred to GKN.  As a result of the transaction, GKN is fully supporting the Airbus Power8 initiative and making further investment in the unit in order that Filton will continue to play its important role in Airbus’ current and future programmes.

The manufacturing unit includes a total workforce of approximately 1,500 employees (both manufacturing workers and support staff), which equates to around 25 per cent of Airbus’ total workforce at Filton. The unit is responsible for producing wing components such as the wing leading and trailing edges; outer wingbox assemblies and shroud box; single aisle wing electrical harnesses; ribs and other machined parts; pipe forming, ducting and other detail components.

 “This sale is an important element of our restructuring programme Power8.  It will provide new opportunities for those involved and will help to strengthen the Filton aerospace site and the region as a whole.” said Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO.  “For Airbus this decision will allow us to concentrate on our role of being an aircraft architect and integrator. Our remaining wing, landing gear and fuel systems business at Filton is core to this objective.”

The agreement is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to complete by the end of the year.  The contract with GKN also includes major Airbus A350 XWB work-packages for the carbon fibre composite, wing fixed trailing edge, which GKN plans to manufacture locally. 

Further information

Filton activities which will transfer into new ownership, include: 

  • Single-Aisle Family: wing shroud box assemblies; detailed parts; electrics.
  • Twin-Aisle Family: outboard wing box assemblies; leading and trailing edges. 
  • Airbus A380: ribs and fixed trailing edge.
  • Airbus A400M: ribs and leading/trailing edges.
  • All programmes: various pipework, ducting, pressforming and other components.

Core activities and facilities at Filton, which will remain under Airbus ownership, include:

  • Design, engineering and support for Airbus wings, fuel systems and landing gear integration.
  • Systems, structures and aerodynamics research, development and test facilities.  
  • A400M wing assembly and equipping centre.
  • Composites Structures Development Centre.
  • A workforce of approximately 5,000 people

The Airbus wing assembly site at Broughton, North Wales, UK, with a workforce of around 7,000, is unaffected by this transaction.  Its role is to produce and deliver the wings for all Airbus commercial aircraft.


Source: Airbus
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