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Sat, Oct 17, 2009

Boeing Reportedly Trimming Flight Test Staff

As Many As 300 Could Be Let Go From Flight Test Team

As part of the most recent round of layoffs announced by Boeing, as many as 300 people involved with flight testing, operations, and validation (FTO&V) could lose their jobs.

The cuts are part of the 10,000 jobs Boeing says it needs to shed this year. 4,500 of those slated to come from the commercial airplane division.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer aerospace blog reports Boeing has not yet issued the layoff notices in the FTO&V division. Spokeswoman Jennifer Hawton said Thursday "It's one of those painful-but-necessary things we have to do it in order to manage the economic conditions that we're in right now and ensure our long-term competitiveness."

"One of the key things that we're trying to accomplish with this is that it won't impact flight test programs," she continued. "We put that into it from the very beginning, which is why it's directed mostly at overhead functions."

Boeing has some very high-profile flight testing to conduct. It continues to tell potential customers that the Dreamliner and the 747-8 will fly before the end of 2009.

There are 3,500 people currently employed in the FTO&V division of the company. They include pilots, engineers, mechanics and technicians who conduct the flight and laboratory testing required for validation and certification of new products. Most work in the Puget Sound area.



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