by John Boyd (WICHITA, Kan.)

Congressman Todd Tiahrt says he's delighted the Air Force has decided to open the tanker contract for bidding again.

It's the news he's been pushing for since the Air Force announced its decision to award the contract for Northrop-Grumman in February.

The deal will go out for bidding, but with a few changes. It will be the Office of the Secretary of Defense who will make the decision, with input from the Air Force.

Officials are putting the bid for a mid-size aircraft, much like the one Boeing had proposed. The government plans to put out the exact criteria for the rebid by the end of this month. The final decision will be made by December 31st.

Tiahrt's office tells us the government will be using new personnel for the decision-making process.  The Secretary of Defense will closely base its decision on the seven critical issues the The Government Accountability Office highlighted in its report last month.

Governor Sebelius issued a statement about the decision, "I am pleased with the decision to reopen the bidding on the tanker refueling project. The GAO report identified serious flaws with the original process which disadvantaged an experienced American company. This gives Boeing the fair chance to compete for the business of building tankers, which will greatly benefit our state, other states with a Boeing presence, and our country as a whole. This is the right decision."


by Sarah Kallail (WICHITA, Kan.)

A decision will be made today on the fate of a $35 billion dollar tanker contract.

The Pentagon is expected to announce whether or not the Air Force will rebid a contract to build new refueling tankers.

Senator Pat Robert's office tells us lawmakers will get calls about the decision around 10 a.m. tomorrow and a press conference will be held at 12:30 p.m.

Last month, a report done by the Government Accountability Office found flaws in the first decision that awarded the contract to Northrop Grumman and its European partner, instead of Boeing.

The report said Boeing might have won the contract if the Air Force had not made mistakes in evaluating the competing bids. The GAO recommended the service hold a new competition.

If the contract is awarded to Boeing, the deal could be worth thousands of jobs in Wichita and Kansas.

Eyewitness News is following this story. Look for the latest developments as they happen here at kwch.com and on Eyewitness Newscasts.