Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Summit first day wraps up

MOBILE, Ala. – About 115 participants from 10 countries were on hand Tuesday for the opening session of the inaugural Southeast Aerospace and Defense Conference. Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson in his welcoming remarks said Mobile's history with aerospace goes back many years, but with the arrival of Airbus, its suppliers, and soon Bombardier, Mobile has a footprint in aerospace that will only get bigger. Later, Chris Curry, executive director of the Mobile Airport Authority, discussed the recent study that found it feasible to move commercial service from Mobile Regional Airport in west Mobile to the 1,200-acre downtown airport at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley, which also includes the 400-acre industrial complex. Asked if moving commercial service would hinder industrial tenants, like Airbus, Curry said tenants were consulted during the study to ensure any move would not jeopardize their operations. Asked what kind of space Brookley has for future companies, Curry said it has as much space as needed. The first day also included talks on the transformation of manufacturing through advanced technologies, from robots to additive manufacturing and more. Also brought up during the conference was Boeing's proposed New Midrange Aircraft (NMA), dubbed the 797. The company hasn't decided whether to build them, but Washington State is already preparing to keep the work there. A Teal Group analysis, commissioned by a Washington coalition, was favorable to Washington and its highly skilled workforce. The report may be the start of a battle between states and cities to win the 797 production site. Participants at the conference include suppliers, original equipment manufacturers, aerospace companies, and investors. The conference continues Wednesday with talks about Mobile’s Airbus Final Assembly Line and the CSeries jetliners Bombardier plans to build in Mobile through a partnership with Airbus. The Leeham Company/Airfinance Journal conference is being held at the Battle House Renaissance Mobile Hotel and Spa. (Source: GCRL, 06/26/18) Previous