Yingling Aviation is looking to build a large hangar and increase its workforce by 25 percent, adding to evidence of a growing aircraft industry in Wichita.
The fixed-base operator won approval on Tuesday from the Wichita City Council for up to $3.5 million in airport special facilities revenue bonds to construct the 23,000-square-foot hangar and add 25 new jobs.
“It’s a good expansion for us,” Yingling CEO and owner Lynn Nichols said Monday. “It’s a big one.”
Yingling’s plans come on the heels of Textron Aviation announcing the new SkyCourier plane and additional jobs, and just a couple of weeks after Bombardier said it would bring its Global 5000 business jet completions to Wichita, along with 100 new jobs.
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According to city documents, Yingling plans to raze several smaller hangars at Wichita Eisenhower National Airport to construct the new one, which will house new offices and its turbine engine maintenance work as well as offer storage for customer airplanes.
Yingling will receive a sales tax exemption on the construction materials, equipment and furnishings for the new hangar. The 71-year-old company provides fuel and maintenance services to general aviation and military aircraft at Eisenhower as well as aircraft deicing to several commercial airlines at the airport.
Yingling’s request for the airport bonds comes in tandem with those that Doc’s Friends will seek at Tuesday’s council meeting, according to city documents.
Doc’s Friends is the nonprofit that owns the restored World War II-era B-29 bomber known as Doc. It seeks the issuance of up to $6.5 million in bonds for the 32,000-square-foot B-29 Doc Hangar and Education Center the group announced in September.
Nichols and Yingling are supporters of Doc’s Friends, and Yingling’s new hangar will be located next to Doc’s hangar along the 1800 block of South Airport Road.
Nichols said Yingling and Doc are using the same contractor and engineering firm for construction for both hangars: Hutton Construction and Professional Engineering Consultants.
“It will save costs for both parties,” said Nichols, who serves on Doc’s Friends board of directors. Cost savings will come from things such as the installation of new utilities for both buildings as well as using one construction supervisor for both buildings, he said.
Nichols said construction on both buildings is expected to begin in January 2018 and be completed by September.