The National Center for Aviation Training
A video with comments from:
- Karl Peterjohn/2010 Chairman Sedgwick County Commission
- Lynn Nichols, President Yingling Aviation
- Jim Walters, Sr. VP, Human Resources, Cessna Aircraft Company
- John Dieker, VP Operations, Bombardier Learjet
- John Tomblin, Executive Director NIAR
- Jeff Turner, CEO Spirit Aerosystems
“We have built thousands and thousands of aircraft here in the past, we’re building aircraft today and we’re going to be building the future of aviation, regardless of what form it takes, on to the 21st century. This campus provides a foundation for moving the technology from the classroom to the work place.
A definitive need for aviation was identified.
In Wichita we have an aging workforce. Plain and simple. We have companies like Learjet, Spirit, Boeing, Airbus, Cessna, Hawker Beech. As baby boomers, I’m one of them, as we begin to think about retirement, and/or those that are going to retire, the percentage of what the baby boomers represent in today’s workforce is a large number. So what are we doing looking for other people that will back fill these positions as we do retire?
Public/Private Collaboration was key to NCAT development.
We believe what we have here in Wichita in the way of NCAT is unique across the nation. I think one of the main reasons it is unique is the strong partnership between the public and private sector. The aviation industry has supported this for many years, and will continue to support this institution. We’ve had great support from the city, county and state representatives. One of the reasons I think it’s very unique is the strength of that partnership.
NCAT offers the aviation community a world-class, one-of-a-kind training experience.
We’re going through the test flight and of course the delivery to Cessna’s customers. The assembly process of the Sky Catcher is a perfect opportunity for a newly graduated student of NCAT to come in and get hands-on, with real life work.
We’re viewing NCAT as not only providing us with the opportunity to train future employees but also to re-tool and upgrade the skills of our current employees.
I think one thing that sets NCAT apart, is one, the very close proximity of the aviation industry. The companies are right here.
Traditionally, what we see, particularly in the FAA environment, is a long time it takes from the research level to reach the production floor. Typically, in an FAA environment, anywhere from 8-10 years. And what we’re trying to do here is shorten that cycle by half. In the 4-5 years to get something from the research phase, directly into the production environment onto the production floor.
NCAT combines training and research on one campus.
One of the major roles I see that NCAT has, that is quite unique to this area, is the ability to attract the workforce. Meaning new workforce-as well as retrain old workforce and train them in new technologies, such as friction stir welding, such as composite materials and composite repair. This facility actually offers the ability to do all that in one place.
The Air Capital of the World – Wichita Kansas, is the most ideal location for this world-class facility.
Our aviation industry is one of the jewels of our nation, and certainly of the Wichita area. The maintenance, the care and feeding of that industry is extremely important to us. Having a world-class, technical training capability, is in my opinion, one of the most important parts of us protecting that industry and being competitive throughout the world.
The ability of the community to support the organization, with skilled resources, those that are already in the industry and working as experts, to assist them, help and develop the curriculum, and the training sources required as it goes forward is a tremendous benefit. The support we get from the community is one that the rest of the world should be jealous of.