Mobile, AL — WKRG
The Farnborough airshow begins in just a few hours outside of London. The Mobile area delegation is already there making pitches for the Port City. I spoke to several members early Sunday morning via FaceTime.
With Airbus plane production well underway, this year’s 2016 Farnborough International Airshow won’t see the fanfare 2015 had. Last year, at the start of the Paris Airshow, the Mobile delegation was treated to a number of announcements helpful to Mobile’s economy. Maas Aviation announced plans to open an additional paint hangar in Mobile and Hutchinson announced they were opening up at Brookley too. This year no big announcements tied to the start of the show. Those may come months from now as they have in years past.
“Of course, it would be nice to announce something with new jobs and sometimes they’re so busy while they’re here they don’t want to divert to make an announcement,” said Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson. At Brookley there’s room for possibilities and room to grow, this airshow is a lot like many of the others in the past, a chance to meet with as many people as they can to sell Mobile.
“We have everything a manufacturer could want we’ve got a work base that’s second to none, very trainable, airbus has proved that,” said Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl. It’s hard to tell what meeting or conversation will lead to a new job landing in mobile. The focus is on building what they have so far.
“As we grow those capabilities more and more companies, even outside of the airbus chain will take notice of those capabilities and are taking notice of those capabilities looking for opportunities to locate there,” said Troy Wayman with the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. Those opportunities take a while to develop too. A year after the Maas announcement the paint hangar is under construction. They were originally shooting for operations to begin in the fall of this year. Hutchinson is under construction. That was originally targeted for the third quarter of last year. A chamber official said the building site required significant renovation. Local officials wouldn’t specifically name new companies they were trying to woo on this trip.
Reporters note–the video used does not correctly ID the Hutchinson site.