GE says its integrated avionics joint venture with China's AVIC is on track to gain final approval by the Chinese government by year's end as the two companies accelerate staffing and readying facilities in Shanghai. The two agreed to form GE-AVIC Avionics Systems in 2009 and were selected in 2010 to provide the integrated avionics system for the Comac C919 airliner, set for service entry in 2016. The joint venture is nearing completion of the joint definition phase for the avionics this summer.

While the engineering support for the avionics venture by year's end is to be split fairly evenly between West and East - 300 engineers and programme managers at GE's Clearwater, Florida and Grand Rapids, Michigan locations; 100 in its Cheltenham, UK facility and 300 in Shanghai - Bolsinger says ultimately the plan is to have about 90% of the engineers in China for the integrated avionics systems.

To meet its ramp up for this year, the joint venture plans to hire another 200-250 engineers in China by the end of the year, many with engineering experience on other AVIC programmes, says Bolsinger. She says the avionics joint venture is targeting business jet OEMs for potential upcoming programmes, but that the "big payload for us" would be a position on the next Airbus or Boeing product.

Source: Flight Daily News