Wichita has superb links to the rest of the nation. Expansion Management magazine includes Wichita among "Five Star Logistics Metros" (October 2007.) Located approximately 170 miles south-southeast of the geographic center of the Continental U.S., and approximately 370 miles west of the geodesic center of the U.S. (Center of Population.), this central location is ideal for businesses serving national as well as regional markets. Companies involved in international trade benefit from the Sedgwick County Foreign Trade Zone and the Kansas World Trade Center.
Highways and Motor Freight
Wichita is located directly on Interstate I-35, the only Midwest interstate corridor in North America to connect Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. Under NAFTA this route has become crucial as trade increases with our northern and southern neighbors. Interstate 35 connects with major east-west interstates I-70 via I-135 about 90 miles to the north and I-40 about 150 miles to the south. As a major exporting state, Kansas takes its highways seriously. Kansas is in the final stages of the 1999-2008 Comprehensive Transportation Program (CTP.) The CTP is a ten-year, $13.2 Billion program to improve transportation infrastructure. It continues improvements made by the previous $6.9 Billion, eight-year highway program completed in 1998. The Kansas Legislature is expected to pass a follow-on transportation improvement program during its 2009 session.
Wichita is a major trucking hub due to its high concentration of manufacturing and role as a regional marketing center. Sixteen national and regional interstate common carriers have local terminal facilities. Due to Wichita’s proximity to major markets and multitude of carriers, transit times and shipping rates are very competitive. Kansas motor carrier regulations mirror most federal guidelines
Wichita Mid-Continent Airport is located in southwest Wichita approximately six miles (12 minutes) from downtown via four-lane limited access highway. The largest commercial and general aviation complex in Kansas, the 3,500 acre facility has three runways (10,300 feet / 7,300 ft. / 6,300 ft.). It accommodates all aircraft and has the latest innovations in passenger convenience and safety. Industrial areas host companies such as Cessna Aircraft and Bombardier Aerospace Learjet. Customs Service offices and a Postal Service General Mail Facility are also located at the airport. In June 2011 the Wichita City Council approved construction of an entirely new $200 million 273,000 square foot 12-gate terminal, parking garage and rental car facility at Mid-Continent Airport. Construction is slated to start in Spring 2012, and the new terminal will become operational in 2015.
Mid-Continent currently has non-stop service to 8 major hub cities via 5 carriers providing 37 arrivals/departures daily. All of Wichita's top 100 destinations have either non-stop or one-stop service. The closest international hub airports are Dallas, Denver, Chicago, Atlanta and Minneapolis. Wichita has non-stop service to all of these international gateways. Mid-Continent served 1.5 million passengers in 2012.
Mid-Continent is served by two quality discount airlines: AirTran Airways and Allegiant Air. The presence of these carriers has dramatically lowered fares. One of these carriers (AirTran) was recruited via the Kansas Affordable Airfares Program (Fair Fares) – a public-private partnership operating a business travel program.
Overnight air cargo service is provided by major carriers including Federal Express, UPS Supply Chain Solutions and UPS. Mid-Continent has state-of-the-art cargo facilities with main deck loaders capable of handling the largest freighter aircraft. Immediate proximity to the interstate highway system provides access to suppliers and markets. Mid-Continent handled more than 23,000 tons of air cargo in 2012.
Colonel James Jabara Airport is located in northeast Wichita. Jabara is a first rate corporate and general aviation reliever airport with a full service fixed base operation. T-hanger storage is available. Runway length is 6,100 feet.
Transit times to contiguous U.S. destinations range from 1 to 7 days. Given sufficient volume, dedicated trains can be scheduled that could save two days from the transit time to either coast. Reciprocal switching for smooth and efficient rail traffic is provided by Wichita Terminal Association Railroad. Public truck-rail crossdock facilities are available. Nearest truck-rail intermodal service: Kansas City (200 miles.) Wichita is served by three carriers:
Wichita has access to the U.S. Inland Waterway System via interstate highway and rail.
- Port of Kansas City - Located 200 miles northeast of Wichita. Access to the Mississippi River system via the Missouri River.
- Tulsa Port of Catoosa - Located 170 miles southeast of Wichita. Access to the Mississippi River system via the Arkansas River.