Bombardier laying off 170 workers in Wichita

Bombardier Learjet (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kansas – KSN has learned another wave of layoffs will be hitting Bombardier.

The cuts effect production workers like these and top level engineers as well. In all, 170 workers are affected, including 100 permanent and 70 contracted employees. The plant in Mexico will also lose contract workers.

We learned of the layoffs exactly one week after the council approved $52.7 million in bonds for a new facility and equipment to build the brand new Learjet 85 aircraft.  Those incentives are tied to promises by the company to create about 450 jobs during the next four years.

“I can see how it would be frustrating but knowing that they are in the middle of an expansion mode and work just hasn’t come on line yet, again that leaves room for optimism,” said city council member James Clendenin.

Optimism is a major reason why the council approved the industrial revenue bonds, including a tax abatement saving bombardier a little more than $1 million dollars a year in property taxes.

Aviation industry experts say it was still good step toward keeping jobs here.

“It’s one of the reasons we enthusiastically embraced the idea of having some industrial revenue bonds for Learjet, the next generation of Learjet products in Wichita, where they were born,” said Dave Franson, President of the Wichita Aero Club.

The company insists the layoffs are due to delays in launching the Learjet 85 and once production begins, some of those jobs will return to Wichita.

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