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Airbus To Relocate Old Town Operations To Wichita State's Innovation Campus

Wichita State University announced on Tuesday that Airbus will be moving its Old Town operations to the university’s Innovation Campus. KMUW’s Sean Sandefur has more…

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Credit Sean Sandefur
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The announcement marks the first major company to have a dedicated building on Wichita State's proposed Innovation Campus. Airbus will move about 400 employees from its Old Town offices to a brand new facility built on what is now the school’s golf course. The move would provide internships to students and collaboration with faculty.

Airbus Americas President Barry Eccleston said he’s happy with what Airbus has done in Old Town, but that the company can do more.

“What other ideas can we get by joining together with the students and other businesses here?" he asks. "[We can] spark new ideas that help improve the efficiency of our airplanes, the cost of our airplanes, and just move the technology of our business along."

Wichita State President John Bardo said the university will provide about $900,000 for an academic portion of the building, but the rest is being financed by Airbus. He said any company moving onto campus must first agree to collaborate.

“This is not just a real estate thing, where someone can move here because they want a nice space," Bardo said. "[The company must] be involved in the academic program of the university and it has to involve our students and our faculty.”

Governor Sam Brownback attended the announcement. He noted Wichita State's National Institute for Aviation Research and Sedgwick County/Wichita Area Technical College's National Center for Aviation Training.

He said these programs, along with Airbus and future Innovation Campus tenants, will keep Wichita on the map.

"I see this as a great progression of growth and development, of this continuing to be the aviation capital of the world," Brownback said. 

Wichita State expects at least 10 more buildings for its Innovation Campus and many more private businesses to follow in Airbus' footsteps. 

The vacated buildings in Old Town will eventually house Wichita State programs, which will be announced on Tuesday, March 31. 

Airbus is scheduled to complete their move by 2017.