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Bombardier announces Wichita as its new U.S. Headquarters

Michel Oulette.jpg
Hugo Phan
Michel Ouellette, left, an executive vice president with Bombardier, announces the new changes coming to its Wichita facility. He is joined by Tonya Sudduth, who was named head of U.S. Strategy for the company.

Bombardier is designating its Wichita site as its new U.S. headquarters. The aerospace company is also expanding its specialized aircraft division.

Bombardier announced on Tuesday that its Wichita facility will become its new U.S. headquarters.

The aerospace company says Wichita was a logical choice because of its roots in aviation and the opportunities for growth in many sectors.

Michel Ouellette is an executive vice president with Bombardier, which is based in Montreal.

"The history of business aviation was written here, and I'm so pleased to announce a new chapter here today," he said. "We're all a part of it, so be proud. This is a great moment in time."

Bombardier discontinued production of the iconic Learjet last year. The mass-produced business jet had been built in Wichita since the mid-1960s. The company paid tribute to that product line at the event.

Many notable Kansas officials, including Gov. Laura Kelly and U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, were in attendance and made remarks.

The company also announced that Wichita would be home to the newly formed Bombardier Defense — an expansion of its specialized aircraft division. The company says the defense market is a key growth area.

Bombardier confirmed it has received additional orders for modified versions of its Global 6000 aircraft, part of a potential $465 million order from the U.S. Air Force.

The company says it's actively recruiting to fill more than 180 jobs in Wichita and close to 500 jobs across the U.S.

Hugo Phan is a Digital News Reporter at KMUW, and founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. After years of being a loyal listener, he signed up to be a KMUW volunteer and joined the station's college student group before becoming a digital assistant in 2013.