When dignitaries, employees and others gathered at Bombardier Learjet Monday morning to kick off the plant’s expansion project, it was a moment of pride and relief for John Dieker.
As the site’s vice president of strategic projects, Dieker oversees facilities and site expansion.
The $52.7 million project will help the company make room for Bombardier’s newest business jet, the Learjet 85, which will create or sustain more than 1,000 jobs.
It’s been more than two years in the process.
“I was relieved that we finally got this started,” Dieker said of the groundbreaking ceremony. “That’s a gratifying feeling.”
Monday’s groundbreaking of a new parking lot signaled the start of the expansion, which will include a Flight Test Center, establishment of Bombardier Centers of Excellence for Engineering and Information Technology, new facilities for paint and production flight testing and a new delivery center.
In his position, Dieker also is responsible for environmental health and safety and strategic product development activities.
He also acts as a liaison with city, county and state government officials. And he serves on a variety of boards, including the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, the National Center for Aviation Training, the Wichita Area Technical College and the Wichita Aero Club.
Dieker has worked in aviation for nearly 40 years.
His first job at 18 was as a line service attendant, where he pumped gas, cleaned airplanes and greeted customers.
He then joined Cessna Aircraft where he first worked in the tool crib then as a machinist.
When he left, he was director of aircraft assembly operations.
Next he spent more than 20 years at Hawker Beechcraft before joining Sino Swearingen as vice president and general manager.
He then joined Bombardier Transportation in Plattsburgh, N.Y., where he was responsible for plant operations.
He joined Bombardier Aerospace in 2006 as director of operations for Learjet.
He has a degree in human resources management from Friends University.
He and his wife, Sue, have one son and two grandsons.
When not working, he enjoys golf and good wine, he said.