In the News

Federal money to help create hundreds of new jobs at WSU

Wichita Business Journal | Daniel McCoy

Wichita State University has attracted more federal funding related to aerospace, this time with a big number of jobs attached to the related work.

The WERX Lab WSU’s National Center for Aviation Research has been awarded $2.1 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration for the purchase and installation of equipment to be as part of the lab’s maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility.

It will also fund additional equipment for NIAR’s Flight Test Research Center.

The upgraded equipment is expected to drive growth that will lead to 475 jobs over 10 years.

“The productive partnerships between Wichita State and many local aviation manufacturers is key to innovative solutions and technologies developed in the ‘Air Capital of the World,’” Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) said in a Commerce Department statement. “I am pleased this investment will further advance the mission of the National Institute for Aviation Research and expand their testing capabilities.”

NIAR in May was granted Part 145 certification by the Federal Aviation Administration, making its WERX lab an official aircraft repair station.

The organization in March partnered with Virginia-based Dynamic Aviation a year-long project to modify three 737s built by the Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) for special-mission work.  

The work is being done at NIAR facilities on the Air Capital Flight Line, formerly part of Boeing’s Wichita operations, adjacent to McConnell Air Force Base. The facility was previously home to modification work done by Boeing on aircraft including Air Force One. Around 90 students and NIAR staff are working on the project.