Government officials, Bombardier Aerospace executives and other stakeholders broke ground yesterday on a $56 million, one-million-square-foot expansion at the Learjet Wichita campus. The growth will help to accommodate the Learjet 85, which is expected to enter service in the second half of next year, as well as expand the company’s capabilities in Wichita.
“This is an exciting day for the future of Learjet and the Learjet 85 program in Wichita,” said Ralph Acs, Bombardier Business Aircraft’s vice president and general manager for Learjet. “We are extremely proud that Learjet’s heritage in Kansas spans nearly 50 years and will continue to grow through our partnership with city, county, state and federal government agencies.”
Joining Bombardier Learjet officials at the groundbreaking ceremony were Gov. Sam Brownback, Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer. “Today’s ground breaking represents a new era of growth for Bombardier’s Learjet facility in Wichita,” Gov. Brownback said at the ceremony.
The expansion includes the Bombardier Flight Test Center, the establishment of Bombardier Centers of Excellence for Engineering and Information Technology, new facilities for paint and production flight testing and a new delivery center, as well as additional employee parking lots. By 2022, more than 1,000 jobs will have been created at Wichita’s Learjet site, the Canadian aircraft manufacturer said.