April 25, 2008 – Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed HB 2006, which provides $33 million in bonds for Wichita plane maker Cessna Aircraft to build the new transcontinental wide-bodied Citation Columbus Business Jet, the largest ever by Cessna, in Wichita, KS.
The IAM worked with Gov. Sebelius, state legislators and Cessna to pass the legislation. Cessna has already announced that it will build the jet in a new 80,000-foot assembly plant at its Mid-Continent facility in west Wichita.
“Governor Sebelius has shown time and time again she is committed to ensuring working families in her state prosper,” said International President Tom Buffenbarger. “Signing this legislation will greatly benefit Wichita’s aerospace industry and its workers.”
The new bill applies to aircraft companies with average salaries of at least $50,000 and a payroll of at least $300 million, so other companies can take advantage of the state and local support to grow in Kansas.
“Over half the general aviation airplanes flown in the world are manufactured in Kansas, and Wichita is rightly called ‘the Air Capital of the world,’” said Southern Territory General Vice President Bob Martinez. “This is about growing well-paying union jobs that fuel a strong economy and good communities. Other states should take lessons from the public/private/labor coalition we’ve forged in Kansas. Kansas has been the home of the aircraft industry for over one hundred years, and the IAM is committed to making sure it stays that way. I’m proud of the leadership and our members in Wichita for their hard work to make this happen.”