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Boeing to Resume Puget Sound Region Production Using Phased Approach
After suspending operations at their Puget Sound region facilities last month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Boeing has announced that commercial aircraft production will resume starting next week. The company will bring production back online using a phased approach that includes measures in response to the ongoing pandemic.
According to Boeing, employees in the Puget Sound region for the 737, 747, 767, and 777 programs will return to work as early as the third shift on April 20, 2020. The company says most employees will return to work by April 21 for these programs. Employees dedicated to the 787 program will return to work on April 23, 2020 (third shift) at the earliest, with most returning by April 24, 2020. Bringing production back online will send about 27,000 Boeing employees back to work.
For those returning to work, it won’t be a complete return to business as usual.
Boeing has announced a variety of measures to help protect returning employees in light of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic including; providing employees with PPE when working in areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained, staggered shift start times, floor markings and signage to create physical distance between employees, a requirement to wear face coverings, encouraging employees to remain home if they are ill, employee wellness checks, voluntary employee temperature screening, contact tracing if an employee tests positive for COVID-19, continuing virtual meetings and telework, hand washing stations in high traffic areas and making additional cleaning supplies available.
Commercial aircraft production going back online at Boeing is a good sign for the aviation industry in light of the unprecedented impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on aviation and air travel. However, the wealth of enhanced safety measures being taken by the company to protect its employees shows that there is still a lot of ground to cover before a return to normal can occur.
Boeing says that their enhanced measures will remain in place until conditions allow for a return to regular processes and that they will continue to monitor guidance from the government regarding COVID-19, making any adjustment to plans if needed.
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