Major Aerospace Research Center at Mobile Aeroplex in the Works

Last week the Alabama Community College System announced it would be launching a training facility at the Brookley Industrial Complex.   But that’s just one portion of a much bigger concept.

The scale of what is supposed to go up behind in an old hangar at Brookley Field is something the Mobile Airport Authority Executive Director Roger Wehner says many have yet to grasp.

The space will soon be transformed into what’s called the Alabama Aerospace Innovation and Research Center. It’s designed to help grow Mobile’s Aviation Industry.

The concept was developed after Wehner studied other aviation hubs across the US and in Germany, France, and China.  But he says this facility will be nothing like what is already out there.

“Which is to bring industry 2 year, 4 year and even high school students like from BC Rains all together under one roof to meet the needs of industry to help grow the aerospace cluster that we have here,” said Wehner.

Plans call for not just a training facility with the Alabama Community College System, but Potentially Auburn, Alabama, South Alabama, along with commercial space.  And it’ll spread across 80,000 sq ft.

“So this space in particular will be training programs, over there we’ll have collaborations for innovations and everything from packaging, logistics, lean manufacturing all the things that universities are good at assisting industry will be brought to bear in those spaces,” said Wehner.

And all this happening right across from aerospace companies at Brookley Field.  Wehner ended pointing to a picture of a child playing in a field.

“What we’re trying to do is connect kids using the fascination of flight to the opportunity that is represented out here, by Airbus, BTME, Continental Motors, and the explosion of aerospace companies out here.”

The entire project is estimated to cost about $10-15 million.  Construction could start later this year.

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