Dowty Propellers has made important steps forward in its efforts to resume manufacturing and support customers/operators worldwide after the February fire in its UK production facility at Gloucester’s Anson Business Park.

Following an intensive search process, the business intends to set up an interim facility at Vantage Point Business Village in Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire for the company’s propeller blade manufacturing processes, subject to agreement on lease terms.

Located 16 miles from the Anson Business Park site, this will be the primary location for blade manufacturing processes for the next two to three years. Dowty Propellers’ access to the Vantage Point Business Village building is anticipated to begin later this month, with work to modify the facility for its purposes beginning soon after.

Employees resume work as manufacturing begins anew

Manufacturing of Dowty Propellers’ propeller control unit assemblies and its propeller blade de-icing boots will be located in Anson Business Park facilities unaffected by the February 5 fire. These activities join ongoing test and development activities that have continued largely unaffected.

As these activities move forward, employee teams will continue to be located at Bishops Cleeve – a complex in Gloucestershire operated by its GE Aviation parent company, and made available to Dowty Propellers. This will remain the primary location for support functions during the foreseeable future.

Overall, most of Dowty Propellers’ 230 employees that had been based at the Anson Business Part facility prior to the fire are back to work at varying levels. This includes: more than 120 engineers and office-based staff temporarily situated at the Bishops Cleeve facility; 13 logistics and inspection employees, who are in modular portable structures located on the grounds of the Dowty Repair & Overhaul facility in Gloucester; along with personnel in buildings at Dowty Propellers’ Anson Business Park site that have remained operable.

In addition, eight employees are producing de-icing boots at the National Composite Centre in Bristol – representing a significant milestone in restoring the propeller manufacturing process.

Supporting customers and operators worldwide

To support its customers/operators and keep them informed of post-fire recovery progress, Dowty Propellers has deployed 10 field service engineers around the world with the priority of keeping the customers’ fleets flying.

Twenty-one additional employees from the Anson Business Part facility have undergone training and have temporarily joined the Dowty Repair & Overhaul team in Gloucester – helping to drive shorter repair turnaround times for customers.

This level of progress has been achieved thanks to the support of many individuals and organisations, including the first responders to the incident, the local councils, community and businesses offering support in many and varied ways, our customers, suppliers and partners, and of course the continued and constant commitment of our employees. This support strengthens our resolve not just to recover, but to build a stronger business.