WICHITA - Bombardier Aerospace today announced the expansion of its Learjet production site in Wichita to include the new Learjet 85 jet, creating at least 300 jobs and $600 million in total investment in Kansas.
The expanded Learjet site will be responsible for final assembly, interior completion, paint and final delivery of the Learjet 85 midsize jet, which will be the largest, fastest, longest-range Learjet aircraft ever. Planned modifications to the Learjet campus include a new paint facility and expanded hangars to accommodate the Learjet 85. Approximately 600 jobs will be associated with the new production line.
Today’s announcement comes a week after Governor Mark Parkinson and Bombardier Aerospace President and Chief Operations Officer Guy Hachey met at the Farnborough Air Show in England and announced an agreement had been reached that would secure the future of Learjet in Wichita. Bombardier officials have been working with the Kansas Department of Commerce for several months on plans to expand in Kansas.
Learjet is eligible for $27 million in bond financing from the State of Kansas per the Economic Recovery and Revitalization Act, which allows bond financing for eligible aviation projects that create at least $500 million in investment. Companies utilizing the financing repay bonds through withholding taxes from new and existing employees. As part of the agreement, Learjet will commit to the retention of existing jobs in Wichita, where the company currently employs approximately 2,200.
Learjet may also qualify for yet-to-be-determined local incentives.
“This is great news for Wichita and the entire state as we continue to further our economic recovery in Kansas,” Parkinson said. “The agreement reached is a responsible investment that will not only keep the hard-working employees of Bombardier, but also create jobs and promote our state’s rich aviation industry. I appreciate the hard work of Secretary Bill Thornton and the entire team at the Kansas Department of Commerce, as well as the local city and county officials that helped make this agreement possible. Through collaboration we continue to make Kansas a great place to do business and I hope to build upon this success.”
The announcement comes as welcome news for Kansas and the city of Wichita, whose 30,500 aviation-related employees make it the Aviation Capital of the World.
With nearly 29,000 employees, Bombardier Aerospace is the world’s third largest civil aircraft manufacturer. Its high-performance aircraft and services serve several markets, including business, commercial and amphibious aircraft, as well as aircraft services and training. Learjet is the Wichita-based subsidiary of Bombardier Aerospace. Visit www.bombardier.com and www.learjet.com for details.
For more information, contact Joe Monaco, Public Information Officer with the Kansas Department of Commerce, at (785) 296-3760 or firstname.lastname@example.org.