Cessna celebrates 15 years of Independence plant production

It’s difficult to believe that it’s already been 15 years since Cessna Aircraft opened its manufacturing facility in Independence with a huge celebration.

Since then, Cessna has produced 9,500 single-engine piston aircraft and more than 356 Citation Mustang entry-level jets at the facility.

The site employs about 500 people.

Cessna opened the facility after Congress passed the U.S. General Aviation Revitalization Act, or GARA, in 1994, which limits the time operators can sue the manufacturer. Cessna discontinued single-engine piston aircraft in the 1980s, in large part due to rising product liability costs.

Cessna’s Russ Meyer had promised to restart production if GARA passed.

The first Independence-produced airplane came off the production line in November 1996.