Boeing announced Friday it’s closing flight simulators in Renton and moving flight training operations, including 787 flight and maintenance training, to Miami.
“The consolidation is part of a larger Commercial Airplanes focus on customer commitments, stepping up efforts to meet market demand for Boeing products, services and support as airplane delivery rates increase,” the company said in a statement.
The move will start with two 787 training suites and start immediately, the company said.
“Miami is Boeing's largest commercial aviation training campus and is a preferred training location for customers based in Latin America as well as the United States, Middle East, Europe and elsewhere. With this consolidation, Miami will be established as the pro forma flight training location for Boeing in the Americas.”
It’s not clear what impact this will have on employees.
“The majority of the Seattle Flight Services team will not be affected, but some employees will be impacted by the planned consolidation,” said Sherry Carbary, vice president, Flight Services, Commercial Aviation Services.
But Bill Dugovich, communications director for the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace--which represents engineers, technical workers, pilots and other professionals--told Patch Friday afternoon that there would be a "big impact on at least 100 employees." He was in a meeting with affected pilots.
In a post on its website, SPEEA wrote:
“The removal of these services will negatively impact engineering functions. Boeing 787 engineering will be impacted first as the company intends to move 787 simulators ‘immediately.’
“Industry experts predict up to 10 months downtime to move simulators to Miami, reconfigure them and get FAA recertification. Taking the 787 simulators off line indicates that Boeing leadership expects the 787 fleet to be grounded for a substantial period of time.”
The 787 has been grounded since January while investigators look into the cause of a battery fire.