EDA: $2.1 Million Invested to Help Establish New Aviation Research and Maintenance Facility at Wichita State University

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.1 million grant to Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, to support the growth of the aviation sector by 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. This EDA project, to be matched with $2.1 million in local funds, is expected to create 475 jobs.

“President Biden is committed to ensuring that our communities are provided with the resources they need to diversify and grow their economies,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “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.”

“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support Wichita State University as it seeks to create additional aviation job opportunities,” said Dennis Alvord, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will fund key equipment at the National Institute for Aviation Research, providing 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.”

“Kansas’ aviation industry plays a significant role in our thriving economy, employs thousands of skilled workers, and supports the more than 450 aviation industry suppliers and service providers operating here in our state,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “With this support from our federal partners, we’ll continue boosting our economy, creating jobs, and cementing Wichita’s reputation as the ‘Air Capital of the World.’”

“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. “I am pleased this investment will further advance the mission of the National Institute for Aviation Research and expand their testing capabilities.”

“The National Institute for Aviation Research not only develops the next generation of the aviation workforce, it provides vital support to the aviation and manufacturing industries both in Kansas and across the country,” said Senator Roger Marshall. “This grant from the Economic Development Administration will continue to advance the ongoing research and development at NIAR, creating new jobs and new opportunities in Wichita, and I applaud this investment by the Department of Commerce.”

“Wichita State University and NIAR’s reputation and unparalleled expertise continue to reinforce our status as the Air Capital of the World, and this $2.1 million grant will assist as NIAR expands our capabilities in flight test research, maintenance and repair,” said Congressman Ron Estes (KS-04). “WSU students, our local aircraft manufacturers, the aviation industry and general public safety will all benefit from the new equipment made possible through this grant.”

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.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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