Boeing Earthquake Recovery Continues; Aircraft Departures Cleared

The Boeing Company is quickly returning to full operations and reopening facilities after the February 28 earthquake that had affected some Puget Sound operations.

Officials from King County International Airport and the Federal Aviation Administration have cleared aircraft takeoffs from Boeing Field, where damage to the runways had prevented departure of 14 aircraft being prepared for delivery.

Until permanent runway repairs have been completed, Boeing will prepare most 737 and 757 aircraft for delivery at the company's Everett site and its adjacent airport, Paine Field; other options also are being explored to help meet commitments to customers.

Company officials estimate that approximately 75-85 percent of Puget Sound-area employees are back on the job. Everett 747/767/777 final assembly and Auburn fabrication operations resumed the day after the earthquake. Renton 737/757 commercial airplane final assembly work resumed today.

Work on the company's Joint Strike Fighter program resumed Friday morning, and work is expected to begin within two days on the F-22 program once tooling is recalibrated.

"After the earthquakes in Kobe, Japan, and Northridge, California, several years ago we conducted a thorough review of our buildings, operations and disaster preparedness procedures. We made some physical changes and upped our training. It paid off," said Phil Condit, Boeing chairman and chief executive officer. "Our workplace evacuations went smoothly and there no major injuries. We quickly established emergency operations centers and quickly instituted detailed recovery plans. Operations are quickly coming back on line and we expect to be virtually in full swing by Monday."

With the opportunity to begin moving aircraft from Boeing Field and re-institute customer deliveries, the impact on deliveries will be relatively minor, Condit said. "I am pretty positive. From a manufacturing standpoint, it looks very good. We should be able to recover our delivery schedule pretty quickly. We don't expect a long-range impact on commercial airplane deliveries," he said.

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Tom Ryan
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