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Boeing to move HQ to DC area

Boeing's KC-46A Pegasus tanker programme has grappled with technical problems for years. (US Air Force)

Boeing is moving its corporate headquarters (HQ) from Chicago, Illinois, to its Arlington, Virginia, campus near Washington, DC, placing its top executives physically close to the Pentagon, Congress, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the aerospace manufacturer announced on 5 May.

Cynthia Cook, director of the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group at the DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), said the relocation might help Boeing better connect with its military customers, lawmakers, and commercial aircraft regulators.

The move might also “help Boeing with international marketing, given the frequent travel by government leaders from around the world to DC”, Cook told Janes . “Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman are both located in the DC area, so clearly other defence contractors find the location worthwhile.”

Boeing is looking to overcome a host of challenges to its financial performance. It reported on 27 April that it generated a loss of USD1.2 billion from operations in the first quarter of 2022 driven by write-offs on four military aviation development programmes and problems in several commercial aircraft programmes. The red ink follows earlier, bigger losses caused by the grounding of the 737 MAX commercial airliner and the Covid-19 pandemic-fuelled slump in commercial aviation.

Boeing, which has been based in Chicago since 2001 and employs more than 400 people there, said it intends to maintain a “significant presence” in the Chicago area and envisions “no major job relocations” as a result of the HQ decision.

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