A GLOBAL aerospace firm cutting a third of its North-East workforce has warned it faces a drop in revenues.

Cobham, which operates from Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA), says foreign currency issues have hit earnings in the first three months of the year.

Last month, The Northern Echo revealed the company was making up to 30 staff redundant as it switches flight inspection services to Bournemouth Airport.

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However, bosses, who employ more than 80 workers in the region, say it will continue operating in the North-East, providing training for the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

A report said the company, which has more than 10,000 staff across the US, Australia, Asia and Europe, has plans in place to ease expected revenue losses.

It said: “We are continuing to plan for organic revenue to decline in 2014, but will take action to substantially mitigate the impact.

“We have innovative technology and know-how supported by leading positions in attractive end markets.

“That's why we anticipate organic revenue growth from 2015.”

The firm added it had sold a Texas-based aviation navigation and safety aid business to management.

Its flight inspection division, which is creating about 20 new roles at Bournemouth, includes engineering flight checks and inspections for instrument landing systems, airfield ground lighting and distance-measuring equipment.

Cobham uses Dassault Falcon 20 aircraft that operate equipment emulating jammed radar and communication systems and work as targets for gun and missile firing.

The firm's DTVA team also conducts calibration of air traffic and navigation systems for civilian airports and military airbases from London Heathrow to the Falkland Islands.

Earlier this year, bosses revealed strong annual group results, with underlying revenues rising to £1.79bn and orders increasing from £1.65bn to £1.67bn for the year to December 31.

However, a spokesman confirmed it was taking jobs out the region.

He added: “We expect between 20 and 30 of the 86 positions at DTVA will be made redundant and are working closely with those affected to assist with finding alternative employment.”


  • Serving in the First World War, Sir Alan Cobham transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, ending the conflict as an instructor.
  • He founded Flight Refuelling Limited in 1934 to investigate air-to-air refuelling techniques.
  • Air refuelling was only previously used in flight endurance attempts, but Sir Alan's new company allowed non-stop Atlantic crossings and the process was adopted by the US Air Force in 1949.
  • The firm diversified into maintaining Royal Air Force aircraft, with its equipment used by the UK and US in the Cold War.
  • In the late 1980s, Cobham targeted the US market and developed a division focusing on radar and electronic warning systems.
  • Its electronic systems support a number of military personnel, including supplying the Indian defence force with avionics for helicopters and identification equipment for the Indian Navy.