New aviation research facility at WSU expected to create 475 jobs


WASHINGTON – The Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.1 million grant to Wichita State University. The money is for purchasing and installing equipment for use in the new Flight Test Research Center and a Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul Facility to be located at the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR).

This project, to be matched with $2.1 million in local funds, is expected to create 475 jobs.

“This EDA investment in Wichita State University will enable aviation businesses to efficiently and effectively pivot operations to address current and future changes in the industry, creating a more resilient regional aviation industry sector,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo in a news release.

Officials say the project will fund key equipment at the National Institute for Aviation Research. The goal is to provide manufacturers, suppliers, and aviation-supporting small businesses with access to a flight testing and aviation research center to advance new technologies or modify existing airframes.

“The productive partnerships between Wichita State and many local aviation manufacturers is key to the innovative solutions and technologies developed in the Air Capital of the World,” said Senator Jerry Moran in the news release.

The EDA says this project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the South Central Kansas Economic Development District (SCKEDD). EDA funds SCKEDD to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

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