British aircraft manufacturer, Britten-Norman, has begun UK production of the Islander sub-regional aircraft, having shifted its manufacturing back to the UK from overseas.
This follows the announcement by the company in June that new aircraft production was to be fully repatriated to its flagship manufacturing site in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight.
The iconic Islander aircraft, variants of which have been manufactured by the company for more than 50 years, will be built in the UK for the first time since production was moved to Eastern Europe in the late 1960s. The first UK Islander aircraft now in production is due for completion in May 2024.
A ribbon-cutting took place at an event on Thursday 21st September as the new production line at the Bembridge manufacturing facility was officially opened by Bob Seely, MP for the Isle of Wight.
Chief Executive of Britten-Norman, William Hynett, expressed his enthusiasm for this pivotal moment:
“We are immensely proud to bring production back to the UK, where our manufacturing story began nearly seven decades ago. This move underlines our dedication to the highest standards of quality, innovation, and the resurgence of British aerospace manufacturing.
We look forward to a bright future as we continue to build world-class aircraft right here in the UK.”