What’s the air capital of the world? Thirteen partners hope you’ll answer “Wichita,” at least after they finish their marketing campaign here at the NBAA show. The campaign claims the “air capital” title based on what its backers say is the city’s position as the number-one site for aviation manufacturing, skilled aviation workers and a robust aviation supply chain.
Sedgwick County, Kansas
Wichita State University has risen to second among the nation’s universities in aeronautical research and development expenditures, according to the latest information from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.
Nordam Group of Tulsa has filed a lawsuit against Cessna Aircraft, alleging a breach of contract and seeking to prevent the OEM from transferring intellectual property to a competitor, according to court documents. The claim states that unless Cessna is halted, Nordam will suffer more than $30 million in damages. Last Thursday, U.S. Chief District Judge Claire Eagan in Tulsa turned down Cessna’s request to dismiss or move the case to U.S.
Spearheading a rally of more than 2,000 general aviation workers in Wichita in March, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood lauded the importance of general aviation manufacturing to the state of Kansas and the U.S. industrial base, and promised a visit to “the air capital of the world” from the President next year.
Hawker Beechcraft announced on February 24 the opening of a new $20 million facility in Chihuahua City, Mexico, that will be employed primarily in sheet metal fabrication.
Hawker Beechcraft and the state of Kansas reached an agreement late last month that will keep the airframer in Wichita for at least the next decade.
Hawker Beechcraft has reached a formal agreement with the state of Kansas that the Wichita OEM says provides a “significant” incentive for “the company to maintain its presence in Wichita over the next 10 years.” The state’s incentive package requires Hawker Beechcraft to maintain its current product lines in Wichita and retain at least 4,000 jobs over the next 10 years.
Despite a recommendation by the International Association of Machinists executive council to approve the contract offered by Hawker Beechcraft, 55 percent of members voted to reject the proposal last month. A strike vote was not authorized. The current contract remains in effect until it expires in August next year, and negotiations are not likely to reopen before then.
World-class aviation and aerospace training joined world-class research, design, testing and manufacturing in a ceremony Tuesday at the Wichita State University National Institute for Aviation Research booth (No. 1107).
A consortium of business, government and educational organizations in the greater Wichita area has formed a Wichita Aero Club. The group plans to host monthly luncheons and invite high-profile speakers to address major aviation industry issues.
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