Cessna Opens World's Largest GA Maintenance Facility

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Cessna last week celebrated the grand opening of its Wichita Citation Service Center, which it touts as the world's largest general aviation maintenance facility, with the cutting of 25-foot-long red ribbon. The complex includes five hangars, three of which are 60,000 square feet in size, plus numerous customer lounges and offices, flight-planning areas, a restaurant, and a gift shop. The facility's exterior features a dedicated run-up area, two compass roses, and four fuel farms. Some of the functions to be located at the new facility include Cessna propeller and Citation product support, CESCOM, and propeller and Citation technical publications. Cessna anticipates the facility will be 100 percent operational by Jan. 3, 2005, when it will house approximately 600 Cessna employees. The company expects to hire approximately 500 additional workers to staff the center over the next five years; many of these employees will be Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) mechanics. "Since Cessna's establishment in 1927, we have made product support a priority," said Cessna's President and CEO Jack J. Pelton. "We believe it is our responsibility to provide superior support to every Cessna operator through spare parts, maintenance, and the technical information necessary to maximize their aircraft's uptime." Cessna officially broke ground on the Wichita Citation Service Center on Nov. 7, 2001. The new facility is on a 124-acre site at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport. With over 443,000 square feet, the facility can service over 100 Citations simultaneously. The 1,600-foot-long building is equivalent to two city blocks, or five and a half football fields long. The Dec. 9 ceremony was the second of its type for the company this year; the June 2004 opening of Cessna's Orlando Citation Service Center being the first.