Southwest Johnson County, Kansas is a Prime Location for the Aerospace Industry

Top 5 Reasons Southwest Johnson County Is Perfect For Aerospace

Logistically located just outside of Kansas City in Johnson County — the economic engine of Kansas — Southwest Johnson County is the crossroads of opportunity. With available and affordable land, a productive workforce and proximity to air, land and rail transportation, Southwest Johnson County is perfectly positioned as the hub of the Heartland. Southwest Johnson County has room to grow and the opportunities are endless for this promising cornerstone community.

Learn More About Aerospace Clusters From Our Partners At Evergy:

“Aviation is at the Heart of Kansas’ Growing Economy”

New Century Commerce Center Is Right for Business

A true multimodal center with the right combination of location and facilities, New Century Commerce Center (NCCC) is a 2,700-acre business park located approximately 30 minutes from downtown Kansas City along Interstate 35 in Southwest Johnson County, Kansas. With direct access to a labor-ready community, interstate highways, on-call rail service and the third busiest towered aviation airport in the Kansas City area, the New Century business park is an ideal location for your development needs.

Southwest Johnson County Becomes First AEROready Certified Community in Kansas

AEROready™ certified communities, regions and sites reduce risks for potential aerospace companies to locate in the certified areas.

The AEROready Certification validates the Southwest Johnson County Kansas region’s readiness to attract aerospace companies, ensures there is ample supply of labor and quality sites, opportunities to customize labor training and utility and transportation infrastructure are in place.

  • 7,339 feet of runway
  • Lower labor costs than industry average
  • 1,000-acres ready for development
  • 700-acres ready for MROs or other aviation services
  • Access to rail

Support Services Within 30 Miles

  • 184 Commercial Printers
  • 142 Industrial Machinery and Equipment Merchants
  • 142 Industrial Machinery & Equipment
  • 134 General Warehousers
  • 111 Industrial Supply Wholesalers
  • 90 Long-Distance Trucking Companies
  • 78 HVAC Contractors
  • 58 Office Equipment Wholesalers
  • 50 Electrical Contractors
  • 31 Industrial Building Contractors
  • 28 Machine Shops
  • 13 Fabricated Structural Metal Manufacturers
  • 13 Sheet Metal Work Manufacturers
  • 11 Metal Coating and Engraving Manufacturers
  • 11 Machine Tool Manufacturers, Cutting Tool & Accessory Manufacturers
  • 8 Tool and Die Companies
  • 8 Electroplating, Polishing, and Anodizing Manufacturers
  • 4 Plate Work Manufacturers
  • 2 Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal Companies

Aerospace Location Advantage

Southwest Johnson County is within a day’s drive of Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; and Denver, Colorado. Our location also provides Aerospace manufacturers quick access to one of the largest clusters of similar industries in the United States, being just under a 3-hour drive time from Wichita, Kansas!

Transportation Infrastructure

Air: Local, Regional, and International Airports

Southwest Johnson County offers close proximity to international, regional, and municipal airports

  • Johnson County Executive Airport (OJC)
  • New Century AirCenter (IXD)
  • Gardner Municipal Airport
  • Kansas City International Airport (MCI)

Interstate and Highway Access:

Proximity to Major Markets:

1-hour access to:

  • Kansas City MSA (30 miles)
  • Topeka, Kansas (54 miles)

3-hour access to:

  • Wichita, Kansas (166 miles)
  • Springfield, Missouri (180 miles)
  • Columbia, Missouri (154 miles)
  • Des Moines, Iowa (220 miles)

Rail Access:

The Johnson County Airport Commission operates the JCAX, a Short-Line, Class III railroad as a service to New Century Commerce Center tenants. The JCAX rail system is comprised of more than six miles of track that runs throughout the New Century Commerce Center. 

The BNSF Railway system serves Southwest Johnson County with intermodal, automotive, and agricultural connections across the country.

Port Access:

In 2015, Port KC welcomed the first barge back to Kansas City since 2007, and has since become the fastest growing port in the Midwest. Port KC services the entire Kansas City, Missouri region, spurring significant economic growth.

SWJOCO is Part of the Greater Evergy Aerospace Region, Where Labor Advantages Include:

Skilled Labor: Number of People Employed in Aerospace/Defense in Our Region

Our region enjoys an abundant, highly skilled workforce as evidenced from the following aerospace, aviation, and defense jobs numbers for the year 2021

Number of Jobs

Aircraft Manufacturing
Aircraft Parts and Auxillary Equipment Manufacturing
Aircraft Structure, Surfaces, Rigging and Systems Assembly
Aerospace Engineers
Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians
Aircraft Engine and Engine Parts Manufacturing
Avionics Technicians

Aerospace Jobs are Growing

Growth in the last 5 years:

33% growth

Aircraft Cargo Handing Supervisors

9% growth

Aircraft Parts and Auxillary Equipment Manufacturing


The Johnson County Airport Commission maintains a 3 million gallon, above ground tank that serves as the primary storage and distribution facility as well as two underground storage tanks, totaling 750,000 gallons, that serve as a secondary distribution point.

Johnson County Wastewater serves over 500,000 residential and commercial customers throughout Johnson County. JCW collects over 18 billion gallons of wastewater each year.

Daily Usage: 50 million GPD

Gas Services in Johnson County are provided by Kansas Gas Service.

Residents and companies within Johnson County use a variety of electricity providers. By megawatt hours sold, the largest electricity supplier in Johnson County is Evergy.

KS Fiber is made up of 28 independent telephone companies that aim to meet the communication needs of Kansas. They serve the Johnson County area through their network of partners.

Workforce Training

The Aviation Institute of Maintenance

Located just 35-minutes from the New Century AirCenter, this FAA part 147 Certified Training Institution currently enrolls over 200 students each semester.  This program is critical to our Aviation MRO companies throughout the greater region. 

Learn more here

Wichita State University

Since 1985, National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University (WSU) has made a name for itself as the most capable university-based aviation research center in the U.S., providing research, design, testing, certification and training to the aviation manufacturing industry, government agencies and other clients that can benefit from our services. With 320,000 sq. ft. of research and office space, NIAR is home to several labs, including: Advanced Coatings, Aging Aircraft, CAD/CAM, Composites & Advanced Materials, Computational Mechanics, Crash Dynamics, Environmental Test, Full-Scale Structural Test, Mechanical Test, Metrology, Nondestructive Test, Virtual Reality and the Walter H. Beech Wind Tunnel.

Click here to learn more

National Center for Aviation Training

Managed by Wichita State University Tech, the National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT) is the world’s premier facility for the development of a skilled aviation manufacturing workforce.

Click here to learn more

Kansas State University

Kansas State University’s College of Technology and Aviation offers both associate and bachelor’s degrees in aviation maintenance and professional pilot, and an associate degree in avionics.

Click here to learn more

University of Kansas

The University of Kansas offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in Aerospace Engineering.

Click here to learn more

Johnson County Community College

Johnson County Community College offers built-in certificate and degree programs for manufacturers, logistics, and more. Additionally, they offer customized training solutions used by world-class firms to train employees to work within your company’s processes and production environment. 

Customized Workforce Training

The JCCC Business Solutions team brings innovation and tailored solutions to your site or to their classrooms on campus. We specialize in:

  • Manufacturing and Trades
  • Transportation and Logistics
  • Computer Applications and Technology
  • Soft Skills Development

Sample of Companies that have used our Customized training:

Real Estate

New Century Commerce Center

The New Century Commerce Center is a multimodal industrial park that is perfect for aerospace, logistics, and manufacturing industries. It is home to over 60 existing companies.

Gardner, Kansas Industrial Sites

The City of Gardner, Kansas, in Southwest Johnson County offers multiple industrial sites and facilities for logistics and manufacturing companies. It is also one of the fastest-growing communities in the Kansas City Metro.


Southwest Johnson County, Kansas, offers state and local incentives that make this region the ideal location to live and work.