Hawker Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture reiterated Monday that the company will make a series of decisions over the next few months about the future footprint of the company in Wichita.
He did not give a time frame for when a decision would be made on whether the company will take Louisiana up on its incentive offer to move all or part of its work to Baton Rouge.
The company is evaluating offers from Louisiana and Kansas.
Boisture was the keynote speaker Monday at the Downtown Rotary Club luncheon at Botanica.
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Wichitans should be aware that Hawker Beechcraft's business has been altered by the economic downturn that began in 2008 "and continues to be altered," Boisture said.
The company is operating under a plan called "Project Challenge," he said.
"Challenge changes the footprint of our company, meaning the physical facilities in which we do business," Boisture said. It also changes supply chain relationships and transforms processes.
Many factors go into the company's decisions, he said.
"We've been obvious about our efforts to find the right place for the future of Hawker Beechcraft," he said.
"And the right place is the combination of a well-educated work force, a combination of appropriate environmental restrictions around the business; it can include encouragement or investment on behalf of the state and local government."
Hawker Beechcraft has received interest from developers about space it is vacating as it moves work to outside suppliers and to Mexico over the next 12 to 18 months, part of a plan that will cut about 800 jobs, he said in an interview after the speech.
Between work that will be moved from facilities in Wichita and Salina, Hawker Beechcraft is closing roughly 1 million square feet of manufacturing space.
"We've got interest in those properties from developers and from people who would do other things besides what we're doing with it," Boisture said. "I'm sure over time, they'll be put to good use."
Local businesses and private residents can "insist on a careful dialogue and making sure that the leaders of Hawker Beechcraft are aware of the intent and motivation of this community for us to remain here," Boisture said in answer to a question about what businesses could do locally to encourage the company to remain in town.
"I would encourage you if you have an opinion to make it known," he said.
In follow-up questions after the speech, Boisture added that residents can remind government officials about the investment made in the aviation industry in Wichita and the community's desire to remain a center for global exports.
"This is a big global export business and a center here that provides high-quality sustainable jobs," Boisture said after the speech.
"To the extent the elected representatives represent the people of the city who are interested, they are the ones who have the capability of doing something about it," he said.