Boeing announced a two week suspension in production of H-47 Chinook and V-22 Osprey aircraft at its facilities in Ridley Township, Pennsylvania, in light of the spread of COVID-19 in the region.
This action is intended to ensure the well-being of employees, their families and local communities, and will include an orderly shutdown consistent with requirements of U.S. and global defense customers, Boeing announced Thursday.
The suspension will commence beginning at the end of day on Friday, April 3. The site includes manufacturing and production facilities for military rotorcraft, including the H-47 Chinook, V-22 Osprey and MH-139A Grey Wolf. Defense and commercial services work and engineering design activities are also performed at the site.
The suspension of operations will last two weeks, with return to work on April 20. During the suspension, Boeing will continue to monitor government guidance and actions on COVID-19 and associated impacts on company operations. The company will conduct additional deep cleaning activities at buildings across the site and establish rigorous criteria for return to work.
"Suspending operations at our vital military rotorcraft facilities is a serious step, but a necessary one for the health and safety of our employees and their communities," said Steve Parker, Vertical Lift vice president and general manager, and Philadelphia site senior executive.
"We're working closely with government and public health officials in the tri-state region. We're also in contact with our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders affected by this temporary suspension as we assist in the national effort to combat the spread of COVID-19," he said.
Philadelphia area employees who can work from home will continue to do so. Those who cannot work remotely will receive paid leave for the 10 working days – double the normal company policy.
When the suspension is lifted, Boeing Philadelphia will restart production in an orderly manner with a focus on safety, quality and meeting customer commitments. This is a key step to enabling the recovery of the defense and aerospace sectors.