Airbus to double $12B it spends with US suppliers

Aug 6, 2012, 8:32 PM

Associated Press

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – European aerospace giant Airbus said Monday it plans to double the $12 billion it now spends with U.S. suppliers amid strong airplane sales, explaining that the company has a backlog that is “disturbingly healthy.”

Airbus America Chairman Allan McArtor told representatives from 114 companies at an aviation supplier conference in Kansas that 40 percent of what his company uses to build its planes comes from U.S. companies.

“We’ve got a backlog that quite frankly is disturbingly healthy, because it is hard to sell airplanes when your delivery position is so far out,” McArtor said. “So we want to increase our capacity. We cannot increase our capacity without increasing our supply chain capability. We cannot increase our supply chain capability unless we approve more qualified suppliers. And that is precisely why we are here.”

McArtor was in Wichita with U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran to host the first Air Capital Supplier Summit.

Kansas’ aerospace industry encompasses more than 450 companies and accounts for more than 32,000 direct jobs. The France-based company has an engineering center in Wichita where it employs more than 350 people, making the Wichita facility its largest engineering center outside of Europe.

The Airbus supplier event comes just months after Airbus’ biggest competitor, Boeing, announced it planned to close its defense plant in Wichita by the end of 2013. The decision means the loss of some 2,160 high-paying Boeing jobs in Wichita, ending Boeing’s presence in a city where it has been a major employer for generations.

Airbus planned to build refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force in Alabama, but its parent company, the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co., lost the $35 billion contract to Boeing in 2011. Kansas officials and its congressional delegation helped Boeing land the lucrative tanker contract after its officials promised to do the tanker modification work at Boeing’s defense plant in Wichita.

Moran told reporters before the supplier conference that Kansas officials recognized the importance of Airbus’ presence in Wichita long before summit.

“While there was a lot of effort on behalf of Boeing in regard to the issue related to the tanker, I and others wanted to make certain Airbus knew we were very grateful for their participation in the Wichita business community,” the Republican senator said. “I think we would be here today regardless of the Boeing decision.”

McArtor said his company knew about and was fine with the strong allegiance between Kansas politicians and Boeing. But he noted that most of Airbus’ suppliers are the same suppliers for Boeing.

“Manufacturing large commercial aircraft is a very competitive global business, it is decidedly not a U.S. versus European business, although some would like to frame it that way. But it is in fact a global business that relies on a global supply chain. Both Boeing and Airbus rely on suppliers that are located around the world,” he said.

Airbus depends on U.S. companies more than it depends on any other country in the world to build its airplanes, McArtor said, adding that the company looks to the United States for innovation, dependability and flexibility.

“We are the largest export customer of U.S. aerospace,” McArtor said. “Boeing as you know is the largest exporter, we are the largest export customer and want to grow that.”

Organizers are planning a second supplier summit in Kansas. They said demand was so great that the Wichita event filled up within five days of its announcement.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

Associated Press

Head of Oregon’s troubled public defense system is fired

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Even as hundreds of people charged with crimes in Oregon remain deprived of legal representation, a commission tasked with fixing the problem fired the leader of the effort on Thursday. The action by the Public Defense Services Commission capped an extraordinary week in which Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Walters […]
13 hours ago
FILE - Elder Leslie Mathews, an organizer with Michigan United, joins Leaders of the Reproductive F...
Associated Press

Anti-abortion groups allege 60 errors in Michigan proposal

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An anti-abortion coalition in Michigan filed a challenge Thursday against a potential ballot initiative that seeks to enshrine abortion rights into the state’s constitution, claiming that 60 errors in the proposed amendment should disqualify it from the November ballot. The alleged 60 errors deal with spacing and result in “strings of […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Ex-judge gets 15 months for sex assault against co-workers

ASOTIN, Wash. (AP) — A former judge in southeastern Washington state who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two former court employees over several years was sentenced to 15 months in prison. Spokane County Judge Michael Price sentenced Scott Gallina last month, the Lewiston Tribune reported. Price handed down his decision after listening to statements from […]
13 hours ago
FILE - Lawmakers listen as parents speak about the prospect of their children competing against tra...
Associated Press

Utah officials secretly looked into female athlete’s gender

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah high school athletics association secretly investigated a female athlete — without telling her or her parents — after receiving complaints from the parents of two girls she had defeated in competition questioning whether the girl was transgender. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the Utah High School Activities […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

California advances broadest US law sealing criminal records

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California would have what proponents call the nation’s most sweeping law to seal criminal records if Gov. Gavin Newsom signs legislation sent to him Thursday by state legislators. The bill would automatically seal conviction and arrest records for most ex-offenders who are not convicted of another felony for four years after […]
13 hours ago
FILE - In this May 20, 2019, photo, state Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, D-Los Angeles, addresses a gathe...
Associated Press

California advances broadest US law sealing criminal records

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California would have what proponents call the nation’s most sweeping law to seal criminal records if Gov. Gavin Newsom signs legislation sent to him Thursday by state legislators. The bill would automatically seal conviction and arrest records for most ex-offenders who are not convicted of another felony for four years after […]
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
Airbus to double $12B it spends with US suppliers