Governor Kelly Celebrates Aviation Industry Accomplishments at the Capitol

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today celebrated accomplishments of the Kansas aviation industry during the annual Aviation Day at the Capitol. Stakeholders from across the state assembled to discuss jobs, infrastructure, and emerging technologies as part of the event held by the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education.

“Whether it be for farming, logistics, military, commercial, or private use, aviation plays a vital role in 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 whatever I can to ensure we remain the ‘Air Capital of the World.’”

Under Governor Kelly, the Kansas aviation industry has soared to new heights.

  • Kansas has the third largest concentration of aviation workers in the United States.
  • The aviation industry contributes $7 billion to the state GDP annually.
  • Wichita State University is the top-ranked college in industry-funded aerospace research.
  • Kansas companies export $2.3 billion in aerospace products annually, comprising nearly 20% of the state’s total exports.

Governor Kelly has taken action to support further growth of the aviation industry. Last year, she 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. Her budget this year includes the first installment of a five-year, $35 million investment in the National Institute for Aviation Research.

“Kansas continues to play a pivotal role in aviation’s impact on our culture and economy,” Calvin Reed, Acting Secretary of Transportation, said. “Aviation Day provides evidence of how through public-private collaboration, the Kansas aviation industry continues to grow through innovation, exploration, and manufacturing.”

Photos from Aviation Day at the Capitol for media use can be found below: