UK aircraft manufacturer Britten-Norman, creator of the Islander plane, has filed a notice to appoint an administrator, sparking concern that the almost 70-year-old company could go under. 

The move comes just months after the manufacturer began construction of its flagship aircraft back in its original home on the Isle of Wight for the first time since 1968, with the company stating that the filing would help it to explore options to secure investment needed to support the move and its future plans. 

A statement clarified that the company would continue to operate as normal and said: “While the board continues to engage in constructive discussions with the company’s key stakeholders, it has taken a decision to file court documents that will protect the position of the business. 

“This will allow the board to focus on achieving the correct structure for any proposed new investment.” 

Britten-Norman had moved manufacturing of its aircraft to Romania in the 60s after struggling to keep up with demand but announced the move back to its Bembridge facility during what it called “intensified interest” in the Islander aircraft after it revealed plans for a zero-emissions version. 

The company, which also manufactures a military version of the Islander known as the Defender, had been facing a winding-up petition from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in mid-2023 over an apparent unpaid £36,000 ($45,500) certification bill but the petition was later withdrawn with Britten-Norman describing it as an error.

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