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Friday, Jun 9, 2023

Honeywell’s Simi Division Will Close Laying Off 85

Honeywell’s Simi Division Will Close Laying Off 85 By SLAV KANDYBA Staff Reporter Honeywell Airport Systems, a Simi Valley-based division of the defense contractor’s aerospace businesses, will close resulting in the layoffs of 85 employees, a company spokesperson confirmed. The layoffs of engineers, those working in the plant’s manufacturing operations and some administrative personnel comes after three consecutive years of losses, said Ron Crotty, spokesperson for Phoenix-based Aerospace Electronic Systems, the branch of Honeywell that operates the Simi Valley plant. Honeywell had been rumored to be on the verge of shutting down the plant for about a year, but the move finally became official several weeks ago when Simi Valley assistant city manager Brian Paul Gabler received a notice of the shutdown. “It’s just a standard warning that they’re going to lay people off,” Gabler said. Honeywell Airport Systems was founded in 1996 and is part of Honeywell’s aerospace lighting business. In 1998, Honeywell acquired Hughey & Phillips, an airfield and obstruction lighting company in Simi Valley, which it renamed Honeywell Airport Systems. That year the company also bought another lighting firm in Germany. Consolidation and downsizing are becoming more common in the aerospace manufacturing industry both attributable to increased productivity and 9/11, according to Daniel Blake, director of the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at CSUN who tracks the Valley’s aerospace industry among other things. “If they were losing money, Honeywell doesn’t want to keep them,” Blake said. Pressure to reduce prices and delivery times while increasing quality has caused trouble for some aerospace-related businesses, said John Anderson, director of aerospace and defense consulting at the California Manufacturing Technology Consulting, a federally-funded organization based in Gardena. Outsourcing has also affected the aerospace industry and the manufacturers of aerospace parts that are considered “low-tech” are especially hard hit, Anderson said that means companies that make parts that do not require high-precision machines and are made of cheaper material, such as plastic. “(The competitors) are getting orders and those are in high-tech,” he said. “Large runs of low-tech (parts) are under severe pressure from the other states and offshore.” Crotty declined to give specifics about Honeywell Airport Systems’ financial difficulties, but said the plan was to have the approximately 50,000-square-foot facility closed by October. About layoffs, he said employees are receiving severance pay and outplacement services, but did not say whether any of the 85 employees would be absorbed elsewhere in Honeywell. Simi Valley’s Gabler said he was disappointed to see Honeywell leave, but was optimistic the building would not be empty for long. “While we hate to see an employer closing, I don’t think the building will be on the market very long.”

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