Gov. Parkinson, Bombardier Announce Learjet Agreement

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Governor Mark Parkinson telling a couple thousand Bombardier Learjet employees their jobs in Wichita are more secure since Bombardier and the state entered a new agreement.

Here are some deal details. Kansas agrees to $27 million in bond financing for investments in plant improvements. For it's part, Bombardier will invest $600 million locally for the Learjet 85 program.

That will include a New Paint Facility, Customer Delivery Center, Production Flight Test Facility and expanded production hangars for Learjet 85 final assembly.

Bombardier had agreed months ago to design, engineer and assemble their new mid-sized Lear 85 business jet in Wichita. But the governor says the economic downturn presented risks that Wichita could lose not only Bombardier, but other plants too.

The governor explains how competitive the current environment is to keep aircraft industry work here. That includes trying to keep Hawker Beechcraft from moving major operations out of Wichita.

News Release

Governor Mark Parkinson and Bombardier Aerospace announced a formal agreement to secure the Bombardier Learjet site in Wichita for the Learjet 85* aircraft project, retaining existing operations and creating hundreds of additional jobs associated with the program’s $600 million investment. Governor Parkinson announced the agreement between the State of Kansas and Bombardier Learjet with the company’s Business Aircraft President, Steve Ridolfi, at an event with Bombardier employees in Wichita today.

“This is great news for Wichita and the entire state as we continue to further our economic recovery in Kansas. The agreement reached is a responsible investment that will not only keep the hard-working employees of Bombardier, but also create jobs and promote our state’s rich aviation industry,” said Parkinson. “I appreciate the hard work of Secretary Bill Thornton and the entire team at the Kansas Department of Commerce, as well as the local city and county officials that helped make this agreement possible. Through collaboration we continue to make Kansas a great place to do business and I hope to build upon this success.”

The agreement with Bombardier Learjet includes $27 million in bond financing from the State of Kansas per the Economic Recovery and Revitalization Act, which allows bond financing for eligible aviation projects that create at least $500 million in investment. Companies utilizing the financing repay bonds through withholding taxes from new and existing employees. The State Finance Council must approve the bond financing.

As part of the agreement, Bombardier Learjet will secure Learjet 85 aircraft production and delivery in Wichita and add at least 300 new employees over the life of the program.

The agreement with the State secures Bombardier Learjet to invest $600 million in the Learjet 85 program in Wichita. The Learjet site will utilize the $27 million in bond financing from the State to include an all-new paint facility, customer delivery center, production flight test facility and expanded production hangars for the final assembly of the Learjet 85 midsize jet – the largest, fastest, longest-range Learjet aircraft to date. In total, approximately 600 jobs will be associated with the Learjet 85 aircraft project in Wichita.

The governor reached the agreement with senior executives from Bombardier, including its President and Chief Operating Officer, Guy C. Hachey, Business Aircraft President Steve Ridolfi and Vice-President and General Manager, Learjet, David Coleal last week while at the Farnborough International Airshow. The governor attended the Airshow to promote the Kansas aviation industry and encourage investment in Kansas by global aviation companies.

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