Will Build Kansas Plant For New Large Bizjet
Cessna announced at a Saturday news
conference it will build the Citation Columbus plant in Kansas,
securing more than 1,000 jobs and a $780 million investment.
"The Kansas Legislature’s quick response to this project
has cemented our decision, and Cessna is proud to call Kansas home
for the Citation Columbus," said Cessna Chairman, President and CEO
Jack J. Pelton. "With their quick action, the House and Senate
leadership have shown the world that Kansas will compete for
With this new project, Cessna will create 1,010 new direct jobs
with an annual payroll of $74 million. Research shows that each
aviation job creates an additional 2.9 jobs, which means a total of
nearly 4,000 new jobs in Kansas as a result of the new plant.
Cessna is investing $780 million into development of the
Citation Columbus, Cessna’s newest and largest business jet.
The new plant will be a stand-alone facility that will house
engineering offices and final assembly of this state-of-the-art $27
million business jet.
This past Wednesday the Kansas Senate voted to provide up to $33
million in bonds to secure the plant through a pool of money
designed for aviation projects. Yesterday, the Kansas House also
passed the bill sending it to Governor Sebelius for her signature.
Governor Sebelius has provided her full support for the
"From the beginning, Cessna was clear that they wanted to build
this in Kansas," said Kansas House Speaker Melvin Neufeld. "We knew
we had tough competition from other states, but we also had the
home court advantage. Our message is clear too – we want
these companies and these jobs in Kansas."
Kansas Senate President Steve Morris said, "We applaud
Cessna’s immediate decision regarding this project, and we
appreciate their willingness to provide us the opportunity to
respond to them and the means to choose Kansas. Aviation is a
cornerstone of our state’s economy, and we are excited about
Cessna building their future here and offering our citizens the
opportunity to receive the benefit of these high-paying jobs."
A study by the Center for Economic Development and Business
Research at Wichita State University reported that for each $1 the
state invested, the state would receive $2.14 in return
"Cessna's announcement today is the exciting first success in
our effort to ensure that Kansas keeps our place as the world's
aviation leader," said Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt from
Independence. "As Cessna and other companies continue to develop a
new generation of aircraft, we look forward to more aviation growth
in Kansas because of the powerful incentives we have put in
Pelton added, "Cessna fully appreciates the partnership and
support we have had at the state level and locally. The economic
development coalition, the Chamber, the City of Wichita and
Sedgwick County all spoke with one voice and were seamless. Their
partnership with the Department of Commerce and help in bringing
this message to the state was instrumental."
The Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC)
worked closely with the State Department of Commerce and local
partners to help secure financial incentives for the project, as
well as the state response. Its partners are the City of
Wichita, Sedgwick County, 125 business investors through the
Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce and seven counties in the
"On behalf of the community, we thank the legislative
leadership, our south-central Kansas delegation and the entire
Kansas Legislature for securing these great jobs for Kansans," said
Coalition Chairman Steve Martens. "We have an immediate win with
immediate jobs, and with this legislation, the Kansas Department of
Commerce and Secretary Kerr have new, more flexible ways to compete
for product lines and jobs that will secure the future of
Cessna had publicly said their preference was to locate in
Kansas... especially because of Wichita’s skilled work force,
the National Institute for Aviation Research and the new technical
training school at Jabara Airport. However, as Cessna
evaluated its options, they determined that in order to fulfill
their fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders, Kansas needed
to be more slightly more competitive.
"We needed to make this decision quickly and the Kansas
Legislature was very proactive in its response," Pelton said.
"This is a perfect example of our partners at the state level
understanding and responding quickly to a very competitive global
business environment. We thank all for the support we’ve
received from Governor Sebelius, Secretary Kerr, House and Senate
leadership and our legislative delegation. We look forward to the
Governor signing the bill, and we especially look forward to hiring
more of the great people of Kansas to be a part of building this
exciting new aircraft."