A $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce will help Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) purchase tools and supplies to support Flight Test Research Center and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facility at NIAR WERX.
The grant from the department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) will include a $222,219 locally funded cost-match. It is expected to create 75 jobs and retain seven at NIAR WERX. The funding will help NIAR advance new technologies and boost efforts by the regional aviation cluster to adjust operations efficiently and effectively as the industry changes.
“Here in Kansas, our aviation sector is essential to our economy, employing thousands of skilled workers and supporting more than 450 industry suppliers and service providers,” said Gov. Laura Kelly. “I want to thank Secretary Raimondo and the U.S. Department of Commerce for their support, which will strengthen our aviation sector for future generations of Kansans and further cement Wichita’s reputation as the Air Capital of the World.”
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 sector and industry funds to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.
“Wichita State’s recently established Flight Test Research Center and Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul facility is bringing new and exciting opportunities to Kansas,” Senator Jerry Moran said. “This investment by the Economic Development Administration will further its capabilities, establish more first-hand learning opportunities for students and bring additional jobs to the area.”
“Continued investment in the National Institute for Aviation Research’s new Flight Test Research Facility and Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul facility will provide vital support to the aviation and manufacturing industries both in Kansas and across the country,” said Senator Roger Marshall.
“WSU's NIAR has already proven to be a leader in aviation research, training and testing,” Congressman Ron Estes said. “By investing in our aviation industry, our region will continue growing as the Air Capital of the World strives for innovation and excellence."