TOPEKA — Governor Laura Kelly today celebrated the achievements of Kansas’ aviation industry during the annual Aviation Day at the Capitol. Stakeholders from across the state gathered to discuss jobs, infrastructure and emerging technologies at the event organized by the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education.
“Whether for agricultural, logistics, military, commercial or private use, aviation plays a critical role in the Kansas economy,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “From providing tax credits to encourage workers to join the field, to investing in advanced aerospace research, I will continue to do everything I can to ensure we remain the ‘Air Capital of the World.'”
Under Governor Kelly, Kansas’ aviation industry reached new heights.
- Kansas has the third largest concentration of aviation workers in the United States.
- The aviation industry contributes $7 billion to the state’s GDP each year.
- Wichita State University is the premier college in industry-funded aerospace research.
- Kansas companies export $2.3 billion of aerospace products each year, representing nearly 20 percent of the state’s total exports.
Governor Kelly has taken steps to support further growth in the aviation industry. Last year, he signed bipartisan legislation that provides $25,000 in tax credits to workers who join the aviation industry, as well as tax credits to industry employers who provide tuition reimbursement. . Its budget this year includes the first tranche of a five-year, $35 million investment in the National Institute for Aviation Research.
“Kansas continues to play a critical role in aviation’s impact on our culture and economy,” said Acting Secretary of Transportation Calvin Reed. “Aviation Day provides evidence of how, through public-private partnerships, the Kansas aviation industry continues to grow through innovation, exploration and production.”