Wichita Lends Bombardier A Helping Hand

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The Wichita City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an incentives package for Bombardier Aerospace's plant in Wichita. The Wichita Eagle reports that Bombardier's rent of city-owned land will be chopped by $36,000 a year. According to the newspaper, the city also agreed to split with county officials the $550,000 bill for repaving Learjet Way near the plant. The city aid comes after federal and state officials stretched eligibility requirements for unemployment benefit extensions to laid-off aerospace workers at Wichita plants. "We want to be partners," Wichita Mayor Carlos Mayans said. "This is more an investment in this company because they have been a solid company in our community." About 900 Bombardier workers have been laid off in the past year and a half. In addition, the company has given notice that it may close one of its six aircraft manufacturing plants in North America and Europe. Bombardier has begun recalling some of its furloughed workers and reports it will continue to do so in the near future. The company continues to do well in the regional-jet market, reeling in another deal to supply up to 275 50- and 75-seat RJs to US Airways in a package that could be worth $10.4 billion.