British Aerospace has confirmed that it will not now move Raytheon Hawker production work to Prestwick in Scotland, despite the need to free capacity at its site in Chester, England, for Airbus Industrie work.

BAe, which had been studying the move for some time, says the scheme would have proved too expensive. Company sources have also admitted that they had to take account of concerns from Raytheon Aircraft, which is the UScustomer for the aerostructures work. Union doubts over a move have also been raised.

Raytheon acquired BAe's Chester-based Corporate Jets business in 1993. Raytheon moved final-assembly work to Wichita but continued to take major aerostructures from BAe. Chester is now looking to free about 200 employees at the site for Airbus work, and has already farmed out some "work packages" to Prestwick. BAe says that it will stick by commitments to move fresh work into the Scottish plant, which is preparing for heavy job losses following the decision to end production of the loss-making Jetstream 41 turboprop.

Source: Flight International