National Association of Counties
Washington, D.C.


 National aviation facility opens in Sedgwick County

By Christopher Johnson


World-class aviation and aerospace training joined world-class research, design and manufacturing in a recent ceremony opening the National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT) in Sedgwick County, Kan.


Photo Courtesy of NCAT

The National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT) includes a group of three steel-and-glass buildings: the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center, the Aviation Service Center and an Assessment and Administration Center for admissions, student services and employment placement.

As an aviation hub, Sedgwick County understands the need for a skilled workforce to replace workers in the industry as they reach retirement age. To respond to this need, the county, with Wichita Area Technical College and the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR), created NCAT to serve as a national hub for aviation education, training and research, providing a work force for the industry while speeding new technologies into production.

"This unique facility is the national hub for aviation training," John Tomblin, executive director of Wichita State University’s NIAR said. "The center is designed so every detail meets the needs to advance aviation companies."

The 230,000-square-feet county-owned center provides industry-driven training courses in a facility where students from around the country have the opportunity to receive hands-on, real-world training in the areas of general aviation manufacturing, and aircraft and power plant mechanics.

The $52 million center was funded by the Sedgwick County government ($43.8 million), the Kansas Department of Commerce Workforce Solutions Fund ($2 million), the U.S. Economic Development Association ($2 million), the U.S. Small Business Administration ($1.5 million) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ($495,000).

NCAT offers 37 certifications and degrees with 21 classrooms and 25 labs to provide hands-on, real-world training for up to 1,500 students. Classes began in September with additional classes scheduled to begin in January 2011. Cost depends on what area of training the student chooses. For more information, visit