British aircraft manufacturer Britten-Norman has resumed production of the world’s leading sub-regional aircraft, the Islander, as it moves production overseas to the UK.
The historic moment is the culmination of several years of strategic planning and follows the company’s announcement in June that new aircraft production will be returned to its main production base on Bembridge Island.
The iconic Islander aircraft, manufactured by the company for more than 50 years, was built in the UK for the first time since production moved to Eastern Europe in the late 1960s. The first British flight is expected to be completed. In May 2024.
The grand opening took place on Thursday 21st September when the new production line at the Bembridge factory was officially opened by the Mayor of the Isle of Wight, Bob Seeley.
The Bembridge manufacturing site has been the center of Britten-Norman’s operations since its inception, and the repatriation represents significant revenue for the company, which plans to quadruple new aircraft production by 2027, with strong economic performance and increased projected revenue.
The company has therefore embarked on a recruitment campaign and is promoting job creation in the UK’s Solent Local Enterprise Partnership area, including aircraft fitters and technicians, manufacturing engineering and supply chain management. The expansion will create new internship and training opportunities across the Isle of Wight and South Hampshire.
Briton-Norman Chief Executive William Hynet expressed his excitement at this pivotal moment: “We are proud to bring manufacturing back to the UK, where our manufacturing history began over seven decades ago. This move underlines our commitment to high standards of quality, innovation and the renaissance of British aerospace manufacturing. We look forward to a bright future as we continue to build world-class aircraft in the UK.
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