Aerospace firm AAI announces 200 layoffs


AAI, an aerospace and defense development and manufacturing firm, has announced nearly 200 layoffs.

A spokeswoman for the Hunt Valley-based company told 11 News that 184 employees learned Tuesday that they no longer have a job, effective immediately.

11 News reporter Lowell Melser said it's a sign of the economic times, at least when it comes to defense spending. He said employees were keeping to themselves and not offering comment Tuesday.

A company email from the president of Textron, which owns AAI, said the company had to be more cost-efficient given recent project delays and cancellations.

"These changes are a part of ongoing improvements we have been making over the past 18 months. As we become even more cost competitive, we see continued opportunity for AAI to support the U.S. and its allies -- even in light of a declining U.S. Defense budget."

AAI designs and builds unmanned aircraft for the military.

"These changes are a part of ongoing improvements we have been making over the past 18 months," the email said. "As we become even more cost competitive, we see continued opportunity for AAI to support the U.S. and its allies -- even in light of a declining U.S. Defense budget."

County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said he was disappointed by the layoffs. He said he has been in contact with AAI, which he said is providing laid-off employees with unemployment benefits and job search information. He said the county would assist the employees any way it can.

"We (as a country) have shut down our activities in Iraq, and will probably soon in Afghanistan, so it's not a shock to hear that AAI is going to do some downsizing," Kamenetz said. "We know they have begun an outreach center for their employees with a professional staff to help deal with the layoff, and we have offered our professional services as well."

AAI will be laying off a total of 217 company-wide employees at other facilities around the country, a number that includes the 184 at Hunt Valley.

Earlier this month, another defense-related contractor, Northrop Grumman, announced 90 layoffs at its Timonium site.

Source: WBAL TV