Wichita site named Bombardier’s US headquarters


Bombardier has designated its facility in Wichita, Kansas, as its new US headquarters. Explaining the decision, the company cited the location’s storied history in aviation, opportunities for growth in the MRO and defence sectors, and talented workforce.

Bombardier’s footprint in Wichita includes an expanding service centre that supports the OEM’s entire family of Learjet, Challenger and Global business jets. The site also continues to operate a flight test centre that performs testing and certification of aircraft upgrades on all new Bombardier aircraft programmes, including the ongoing certification campaign for the Challenger 3500.

Wichita is also home to the newly renamed Bombardier Defense, reflecting an expansion of the Specialized Aircraft division. The company said the expanding defence market is a key area of growth. Steve Patrick leads as vice president of Bombardier Defense.

Bombardier Defense today also confirmed additional firm orders for modified versions of its Global 6000 aircraft, as part of a potential US$465m order from the United States Air Force (USAF) in support of the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) programme. Last year, 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. Bombardier Defense will continue to leverage Wichita’s expertise to provide in-service support and upgrades to the USAF’s expanding BACN fleet.

“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.”

Bombardier also announced that Tonya Sudduth, former vice president of operations at the Wichita site, has accepted the newly created role of head of US strategy. Based in Wichita, Sudduth will leverage her knowledge and aerospace experience to build strong relationships with key stakeholders in the community, government and industry to further strengthen and grow Bombardier’s presence across all its sites in the USA.

Bombardier continues to grow its footprint in the USA and in Wichita. The company has doubled the size of its service centre workforce to meet existing and anticipated demand. From three hangars four years ago, the Wichita service centre has expanded to seven hangars today. Bombardier Defense also benefits from dedicated hangars to meet growing demand.

Between the service centre, flight test centre and Bombardier Defense, the company is actively recruiting to immediately fill more than 180 jobs in Wichita and close to 500 jobs across the USA. To that end, the US headquarters will host an open house on 23 April 2022 for employees and invited guests to showcase the site’s facilities and for job applicants to meet with recruiters.

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Izzy has been part of the Business Jet Interiors International team since its second issue, and the editor since 2011. She also edits Auditoria and Railway Interiors International. Outside of work, Izzy is rediscovering her love of art by learning how to paint with watercolors.

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