WICHITA, Kan. (AP/CBS Seattle) – Faced with defense budget reductions, the Boeing Co. announced Wednesday it will close its defense plant in Wichita by the end of 2013, moving future aircraft maintenance, modification and support to its plant in San Antonio, Texas, and engineering work to Oklahoma City. Work on the Air Force refueling tanker will be performed in Puget Sound, Wash.
Boeing did not clarify whether the work would be done in Everett or Seattle.
The closure will cost more than 2,160 workers their jobs and end the firm’s presence in a city where it has been a major employer for generations.
The decision was not entirely unexpected. The company said in November it was studying whether to close the Wichita facility, which specializes in modifying commercial aircraft for military or government operations, to address Defense Department budget cuts. The first layoffs are expected to begin in the third quarter of 2012.