Aviation systems maker Rockwell Collins Inc. announced it will lay off hundreds of employees in Tucson later this year as it moves its airline interiors manufacturing operations out of Tucson.
The company reportedly issued an announcement to suppliers earlier Thursday, notifying them it would close the Tucson plant it acquired in its purchase last year of B/E Aerospace, and would be moving the "super first class" manufacturing to another location, which had not been determined.
A spokesman sent the Star this statement from the company:
"Rockwell Collins has made the difficult decision to permanently close its Tucson, Arizona, operations due to reduced demand for the Super First Class aircraft seating produced by the facility. The closure, effective Sept. 30, 2018, will eliminate approximately 413 full-time positions. Severance packages and outplacement services will be offered to affected employees, as well as opportunities apply for other job openings in the company where business is growing."
Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson told Bill Buckmaster on his radio show the county has not received an official notice from Rockwell Collins on the closure.
Its plant is located at 1851 S. Pantano Road, just south of East 22nd Street. It was once the location of Florida-based aircraft interiors maker B/E Aerospace, which made luxury aircraft interiors and employed 900 workers here in early 2017.
Rockwell Collins arrived in Tucson in April 2017, when the company completed its $8.6 billion acquisition of B/E Aerospace.
United Technologies Corp., a defense company, announced its plans to buy Rockwell Collins late last year in a $23 billion deal of cash and UTC stock. The deal would create an aerospace giant that makes plane seats, landing systems and flight control decks for commercial and military planes.
UTC said that after the deal is completed, which it expects to happen within a year, it would combine its aerospace unit with Rockwell Collins and rename it Collins Aerospace Systems. That unit is expected to bring in more than $23 billion in sales a year.
Founded in 1933 as Collins Radio Co., Cedar Rapids, Iowa,-based Rockwell Collins is a leading provider of avionics, communications and other aviation electronics.