Monday, July 2, 2012

Mobile welcomes Airbus

MOBILE, Ala. -- In an announcement that sounded at times like a pep rally and patriotic celebration, Europe's Airbus and Alabama dignitaries today made it official: Mobile is getting a $600 million A320 assembly plant. It will eventually make 40 to 50 aircraft a year. Building the Airbus complex at Brookley Aeroplex will create 3,200 construction jobs alone, and the plant will eventually employ 1,000 people, but official said the ripple effect will mean 5,000 jobs in the region. The Airbus complex will include seven buildings on 116 acres. Sections of the aircraft built in Europe will be shipped to the Alabama State Docks in Mobile and fabricated at Brookley. The project, which includes state and local incentives, puts Mobile, Alabama and the Gulf Coast region in a select club of locations producing commercial airliners. The arrival of the world's largest aircraft manufacturer on to the home turf of its chief rival, Boeing, is likely to change the dynamics of the aerospace industry for years to come. Airbus opted to build the U.S. plant to satisfy the growing need of airliners for fuel-efficient short to medium-haul replacement jets. (Source: GCAC, 07/02/12)