by Kim Hynes
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
5:12 PM CDT, May 3, 2012
Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and Sedgwick County Chairman Tim Norton say they stand behind Hawker Beechcraft and its 4,000 employees.
The local leaders held a press conference Thursday to react to Hawker's decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Norton says Hawker is celebrating 80 years in the community and he expects the company to remain here for another 80 years. Norton says the county and city are working to understand the situation. He says they'll continue to help the company but also be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.
The city, county and state provided a $45 million incentive package to Hawker. Norton says they are analyzing the contract to see what the bankruptcy might mean. Norton says the good news is the next payment isn't due for about a year.
Brewer says they will work closely with the governor's office on the issue. But overall, he says the city and county will support the company and the workers. he says Wichita is the Air Capitol and will continue to be the Air Capitol.
Hakwer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Thursday. A statement says it reached an agreement with "a significant number of its senior secured lenders and senior bondholders on the terms of a financial restructuring plan."
Hawker said the filing and subsequent restructuring will eliminate $2.5 billion in debt and approximately $125 million of annual cash interest expense.
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