UK aircraft manufacturer Britten-Norman reveals plans to increase production rates and to repatriate aircraft production to its historic home in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight. The move is a major change for the British SME which has been manufacturing its aircraft in Eastern Europe since the late 1960s.
Britten-Norman will invest in new jigs and tooling (below) to create two additional production lines as well as modernising production and decarbonising the site with new sustainable energy initiatives.
The investment is in preparation for intensified interest in the Islander following the planned launch of an OEM, zero-emissions Islander aircraft in 2026 as well as wider interest that has resulted from the introduction of finance and leasing options for the resurgent sub regional aircraft market.
In the coming months the Company will be embarking on a recruitment campaign, further boosting job creation in the UK’s Solent Local Enterprise Partnership area. The focus will include aircraft fitters and technicians, production engineering and supply chain roles. The expansion will also create new traineeship and apprenticeship opportunities on the Isle of Wight and in South Hampshire.
In addition to the ramp up in production, the company will be investing in its supply chain and spare parts stock holdings to support its existing operators.
Britten-Norman will retain its 34,000sq ft. stronghold at Solent Airport Daedalus, home of the final assembly line for the Islander. The site also provides OEM aircraft refurbishment, EASA Part 145 MRO services, international field servicing, and specialist avionics and mission systems integration. As a Garmin-approved dealer, the company offers services to the wider General Aviation community.