The National Institute for Aviation Research’s (NIAR) Werx MRO program has reached an agreement on Airbus and Boeing passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversions for Precision Aircraft Solutions and conversions and maintenance for its sister company, Erickson Aero Tanker. Based on those agreements and its previously announced 777-300ERCF P2F conversion program, the Werx program expects to add nearly 1,500 more jobs over the next five years at its primary Kansas facilities in Wichita, as well as at sites in Topeka and Salina.
The organization’s Wichita site, housed in several former Boeing Wichita hangars, employs 425 program managers, engineers, contractors, technicians, and paid applied-learning students. Under the new agreement with Precision, Wichita State University’s NIAR Werx will take delivery of two new aircraft for P2F conversions, with the expectation of eventually performing 12 to 24 of these conversions each year.
“The unprecedented demand for the Airbus and Boeing products is a testament to the investment and teamwork needed to create industry-leading products for our community and our customers,” said Precision president Gary Warner. “Precision works with facilities around the globe to satisfy this demand, and NIAR Werx represents a truly unique addition to the team. Through their applied research and technology, NIAR Werx has the people and facilities needed for the required production levels, a purpose-driven team, and the state-level support needed to realize their overall vision.”