The following is an excerpt from the July 30 issue of The Wichita Eagle. John Tomblin, executive director of Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Research, contributed to the article.
Aviation training center prepares for classes to start
For an industrial facility, Sedgwick County's new National Center for Aviation Training has a light and futuristic feeling.
It is a group of three sleek steel-and-glass buildings near the Col. James Jabara Airport on North Webb Road. They are arranged in the shape of a wing, with angled, wing-like roofs.
When Sarah Leftwich, associate vice president for academic affairs at the Wichita Area Technical College, first saw them, she thought they looked like the buildings in the "Jetsons" cartoon show.
Nearly a decade in the making, the center will be completed by the end of next week, with WATC classes scheduled to start Aug. 16.
Big companies are looking for a research capability and work force training, said John Tomblin, executive director of Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Research, which will provide research and training on cutting-edge technology for the industry at the center.
"We have everything here in one location, and we're locating it in one of the largest aviation clusters in the United States," Tomblin said. "That's an extreme home-field playing advantage here. I'm hoping the whole aviation industry in the United States comes here to train."