Calspan opens 58,000 s/f enclosed crash test laboratory in Buffalo; $20 million project to create 50 jobs, retain 147 jobs in region

February 06, 2018 - Upstate New York

One of two indoor crash bays at the new Calspan facility, 4455 Genesee Street - Buffalo, NY

Buffalo, NY Calspan celebrated the grand opening of its new 58,000 s/f crash test laboratory. As a completely secure and fully enclosed facility, this new, more than $20 million test laboratory will redefine how crash tests are performed in the U.S. This fully-equipped facility coupled with the company’s working knowledge of vehicle crash dynamics will give Calspan an opportunity to save more lives while delivering higher quality data to customers. The project will create up to 50 new jobs and retain 147 jobs in Western New York. 

“Western New York’s business economy is booming and all across the region companies are making the smart decision to move here and grow their businesses,” governor Andrew Cuomo said. “With the opening of Calspan’s new state-of-the-art facility, this innovative company will create jobs while allowing them to study and build life-saving safety features for vehicles, helping to spur the state’s economy and create a safer New York for all.” 

“Calspan has been a part of the WNY innovation economy for 75 years and state investment under governor Cuomo has helped this company soar to new levels” said lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul, who attended today’s grand opening. “With this facility we create jobs, preserve nearly 150 existing positions, and make it possible for Calspan to help set new national standards of vehicle safety that will save countless lives in the future.”

This new crash test laboratory at 4455 Genesee St. is located adjacent to Calspan’s current crash test facilities, and has been designed in collaboration with automotive manufactures and their suppliers. With decades of experience in automotive safety testing and data collection, Calspan’s mission remains focused on providing the highest quality of test data by using the best tools available. 

Calspan’s CEO, Lou Knotts said, “This new test lab will give our industry-leading technical team the tools they need to offer our customers rapid, secure, and accurate data so they can build the best and safest cars possible. With our new test lab and our talented team, we will remain at the forefront of crash testing and automotive safety.”

John Yurtchuk, chairman of Calspan, said, “We are excited to continue our active investment in automotive safety and Western New York. We are now able to combine our extremely talented technical team with a world class facility to utilize advanced technologies together to create safer vehicles and deliver higher accuracy test data. This new facility further expands the need for Calspan to add technical expertise, and gives us the opportunity to attract and retain that talent. Calspan anticipates adding seven to ten degreed engineering and technician positions this year to support our growing transportation test business. Our customers come to Buffalo from around the globe to participate in the testing. So our growth helps the Buffalo economy through our job creation, but also in a boost for hotel, airline, rental car, restaurant and tourism in the area.”

To support this project Calspan secured $497,000 in Excelsior Tax Credits and a $400,000 grant from Empire State Development.

Howard Zemsky, president, CEO and commissioner of Empire State Development said, “This iconic high tech world renowned Buffalo Company needed upgrades to its 1970s-built crash test facility or face losing business and local jobs. By building a new lab, Calspan is also helping to stimulate the economy by keeping more than 150 employees in Western New York.”

Calspan was recently awarded the exclusive National Highway Traffic Safety Administration contract for executing automotive crash tests to verify that vehicles comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 214, Side Impact Protection for the next five years. This recent award for FMVSS 214 compliance testing is one of many existing contracts in which Calspan supports the Department of Transportation with vehicle safety testing and research. Among these critical efforts, Calspan is partnered with NHTSA to develop the next generation of vehicle crash testing standards.

For more than 70 years, Calspan has been providing research and testing services in the aviation and transportation industries and is internationally recognized for research and innovation. Calspan is privately owned with its headquarters located in Buffalo, New York where they maintain a variety of testing facilities including a transonic wind tunnel, a vehicle crash test operation, a HYGE sled used for child seat testing, and a high performance tire testing facility. Calspan also operates a flight research and testing facility at the Niagara Falls International Airport where they own and operate a number of aircraft used as in-flight simulators and airborne testbeds. 

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