WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Help is on the way for the aviation industry. Three billion dollars is available nationwide for a new program called the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Program. 

Several aviation leaders congregated to learn more about the program Friday. Congressional Leaders said this program will not only get Wichita back off the ground after COVID, but also lift the whole state.

The program was introduced by the Kansas Federal Delegation, Senator Jerry Moran, and Representative Ron Estes. Through the American Rescue Plan, the funding will pay for half of the costs in bringing back employees in the aviation industry. 

“If we lose our experienced workers who are technically capable workers in the aviation industry, will we ever get them back, and those workers are a huge asset,” said Moran. “Our theory was rather than have people on unemployment insurance, let’s try to keep them employed.”

Moran said this will help bring back the economy in Kansas. 

“The future of Kansas is determined in part by what happens in the aviation and aerospace industry and so every time we can keep a business in business and we can keep an employee employed,” said Moran. “Not only is that person better, but the community’s better and the money is still being spent here.”

The program requires businesses to keep their workers and not furlough or lay them off. It will last for roughly six months. Both Estes and Moran are meeting with aviation leaders to get them the funding they need to thrive.

“I believe that this program is an invaluable resource that will aid our community as we continue down the path to recovery,” said Estes. 

Applications are open until July 13. Moran said it is for businesses engaged in aircraft manufacturing, maintenance, and repair. 

The application can be found here.