Cirrus Delivers 15 SR20 Aircraft in First Quarter
FAA Conducts Production Certificate Audit
Duluth, Minn. Â– April 9, 2000 Â– Six Cirrus SR20 aircraft rolled off the production line in March, capping a steady first quarter that saw four airplanes delivered in January and five in February. Since deliveries began in 1999, Cirrus has built 24 airplanes and is on its way to producing one airplane a day later this year.
“Last year, our employees thought one airplane a week sounded like a lot of airplanes,” said Matt Kull, vice president of manufacturing. “ThatÂ’s not the case anymore. After producing six airplanes in March, they know itÂ’s just a matter of time before we are producing one every business day.”
The production rate at Cirrus isnÂ’t the only thing on an upward swing. Orders for the aircraft have reached 557. In addition, Cirrus has added more people to its ever-growing payroll, bringing the total number of employees to 463.
In late March, the Federal Aviation AdministrationÂ’s Production Certificate (PC) Audit Team spent a week in Duluth reviewing the companyÂ’s production procedures. The eight-member PC Board audited the companyÂ’s Quality Assurance manual, its manufacturing, engineering and customer service procedures and related documents. The audit also encompassed the Duluth, Hibbing and Grand Forks facilities, and all FAA-selected suppliers.
Ron Gansior, Cirrus vice president of quality assurance, said the audit went well. "After the audit teamÂ’s exit interview, I felt very good about our chances of receiving a PC this spring as planned, Â‘ said Gansior. “Our employees and suppliers are doing a wonderful job of following the companyÂ’s FAA-approved quality assurance procedures. We canÂ’t help but be optimistic.”
Contrary to public perception, an approved PC will not increase dramatically the rate of production. As we have demonstrated results, the FAAÂ’s cooperation has mitigated significant delays in our production ramp-up. Cirrus has been using the approved Quality Assurance Manual for several months and has implemented all of the required PC procedures. The net effect of having a PC is the reduction of costs, since we will are no longer required to pay FAA designees to perform oversight functions on the production line.
Cirrus Design Corporation is based in Duluth, Minn. The company designs, manufactures and markets general aviation composite aircraft, incorporating advanced technologies that result in high levels of performance, comfort and safety.