Bombardier makes Wichita its US HQ and hires 180 staff
Bombardier is to make its Wichita facility in Kansas its new US headquarters. The Montreal-based OEM is also recruiting 180 staff to work at the site and nearly 500 new roles in total across the country.
The manufacturer selected Wichita due to its aviation roots, opportunities for growth in the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and defence sectors plus its strong workforce, said the company. The facility will also be home to the newly renamed Bombardier Defense, reflecting the company’s expansion of its Specialized Aircraft division. Led by Steve Patrick, vice president Bombardier Defense, the new division will become a centre of excellence for defence applications, technology and innovation.
Bombardier Defense also confirmed additional orders for modified versions of its Global 6000 aircraft, as part of a potential $465m order from the United States Air Force (USAF). The orders are part of the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) programme. In 2021 Bombardier was awarded the sole-source engineering and modification Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (ID/IQ) contract from the USAF to modify up to six Global 6000 business jets to become E11-A BACN platforms.
“Wichita was the obvious choice as the home of Bombardier’s new US headquarters and Bombardier Defense,” said Éric Martel, president and CEO, Bombardier. “For more than 60 years, the established skills and expertise from the Air Capital of the World is second to none, and this latest confirmation from the United States Air Force is a testament to the confidence they have in our aircraft and importantly, in the strength of our people in Wichita.”
The Wichita facility’s service centre supports Bombardier’s range of Learjet, Challenger and Global business jets. It also operates the flight test centre that tests and certificates aircraft upgrades on all new Bombardier aircraft programmes, including the certification campaign for the Challenger 3500 jet. (Pictured are members of Bombardier team).
Meanwhile, the final Learjet 75 left the Wichita facility last month. The departure of the last model 75 concluded 60 years of Learjet production at the Wichita site.