Investing in Wichita’s Connectivity
By Emily Younger Barnwell
Soaring into the future of boundless possibilities! Direct travel to and from the Air Capital of the World is becoming more seamless thanks to the addition of several new nonstop flights from Wichita to premier destinations across the United States.
On Jan. 8, several dozen Wichita leaders and federal officials celebrated the first daily direct flight from Wichita to Washington, D.C.
The celebratory event, featuring U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, U.S. Congressman Ron Estes, American Airlines Managing Director Phillip Newman and Director of Airports Jesse Romo, highlighted Wichita’s growing global connectivity and appeal as a destination location.
The increased accessibility is a game-changer, especially for federal work in the defense sector.
“I want you to know it’s Wichita. It’s south-central Kansas. It is this part of our state that allows this success to occur,” emphasized Senator Jerry Moran. “I am pleased to be able to tell you that you have something really special here. We want the rest of the world to know it. We want them to see it. One of the ways we can accomplish that goal is to make sure they can fly here, and they are willing to come, and this makes it so much easier.”
In November, Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower Airport added three other direct flights to Phoenix, Las Vegas and Miami, bringing its total of nonstop destinations to 16.
“The ongoing expansion of direct flights to and from Wichita is part of a critical infrastructure that is important to the talent and workforce development that drives our local economy,” said Tami Bradley, Senior Strategic Advisor for Talent Roadmap and Workforce Development for the Greater Wichita Partnership. “When professionals consider moving to Wichita for a job opportunity, convenient and well-connected air travel is a significant consideration, and we are pleased to see more options for our regional community.”
Air travel is not the only mode of transportation that has made recent headlines. On Dec. 8, Governor Laura Kelly announced the Federal Railroad Administration’s Corridor Identification and Development Program awarded $500,000 to the development of the Heartland Flyer Corridor Service Development Plan.
The proposed Corridor would connect Amtrak’s existing Heartland Flyer passenger rail service between Fort Worth and Oklahoma City, extending north to Wichita and Newton.
“The extension of the Heartland Flyer Passenger Rail would further connect Kansans to Oklahoma City and North Central Texas, unlocking business, educational, and cultural opportunities to Kansans and enabling our neighbors to the south to add to the Kansas economy,” said Governor Laura Kelly in a December news release. “One of Kansas’ greatest assets is that we are in the center of the country, which is why my administration has supported rail projects like this to build on that strength.”
Continued efforts are underway to increase affordable and accessible transportation to and from the Air Capital of the World.
In 1916, Clyde Cessna signed a contract to start manufacturing planes in Kansas. Since then, the greater Wichita region has pioneered aviation and manufacturing with a culture of innovation - building iconic planes, revolutionizing manufacturing with composites, and cultivating an industry synergy. Click here to learn more.