Bombardier Learjet broke ground on a new $53 million factory near Wichita Mid-Continent Airport on Monday as the company prepares for production of its newest business jet, the super-midsize Learjet 85.
“This is an exciting day for the future of Learjet and the Learjet 85 program in Wichita,” said Learjet Vice President Ralph Acs. “We are extremely proud that Learjet’s heritage in Kansas spans nearly 50 years and will continue to grow.”
Joining Bombardier Learjet officials at the groundbreaking ceremony were U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, Kansas Secretary of Commerce Pat George, Mayor of Wichita Carl Brewer, and County Commission Chairman Tim Norton.
The expansion, the largest in Learjet’s history, will include a new flight test center, the establishment of Bombardier Centers of Excellence for Engineering and Information Technology, new facilities for paint and production as well as a new delivery center. By 2022, more than 1,000 jobs will have been created at Wichita’s Learjet site, the company said.
Launched in October 2007, the Learjet 85 is on schedule for entry into service next year.