Thursday, May 1, 2014

Aerospace corridor topic of talk

PENSACOLA BEACH, Fla. – The Airbus A320 final assembly line being built in Mobile, Ala., was a topic of discussion during one session of the 2014 World Trade Conference at Pensacola Beach. The 14th annual conference being held today through Friday included a session titled "Trade Opportunities in the Gulf Coast Aerospace Corridor." It included brief presentations by aerospace and aviation officials from the region. Troy Wayman, vice president of economic development at the Mobile Chamber, touched on the regional nature of luring aviation activities to the aerospace corridor. He said that Mobile not only claims its own considerable assets, but claims the assets of its neighbors to the east and west. Much of the attention in this region has been on Airbus' final assembly line, which will open in 2015. The first A320 will be produced in 2016. Michelle Hurdle, director of economic and community development at Airbus in Mobile, said all the major sections will be shipped by sea to Mobile. She said the original thought that it would mean one ship a month, but now it looks more like one ship a week. Europe's Airbus is just one example of foreign interest in the region. Crystal Sircy, senior vice president of business development for Enterprise Florida, said that state is working 295 active economic development projects right now, and 35 percent are foreign direct investment. She didn’t know how many of those are for Northwest Florida. (Source: GCAC, 05/01/14)