- Associated Press - Thursday, January 5, 2017

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A European plane-maker that established a U.S. engineering outpost in Wichita 14 years ago has moved to a new building at Wichita State University.

Airbus Americas Engineering’s final group of Wichita employees began working at the two-story, 90,000-square-foot building this week, the Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/2iVftQP ) reported.

Brandi Chandler, who coordinated the multi-stage move for Toulouse, France-based Airbus, said it began the first week of December and involved 300 employees.

John O’Leary, vice president of Airbus Americas Engineering, said the transition “went extremely smooth.”

The move not only was a means to consolidate its work from two buildings to one, but was also a way to be closer to the university’s new Innovation Campus, where there’s a pipeline for the company’s future workforce, O’Leary said.

“It’s the long way of saying this move makes business sense for us,” he said.

The Wichita office does wing design work on all Airbus commercial jetliners and houses a team of workers and engineers assigned to the company’s in-service repair and customer support.

O’Leary said the move to the new building happened earlier than expected because the contractor Airbus used was ahead of schedule. He said he expects greater access to the labs at the new Experiential Engineering building, as well as greater collaboration with Wichita State and similar companies housed at the Innovation Campus.

According to O’Leary, some Wichita State students are already working directly with Airbus engineers while exposing company staff to the “enthusiasm and energy” of the students.

“Maintaining this pipeline is critical,” he said.

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com

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