By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Monday Alabama Governor Bentley (R) announced officially that Airbus was indeed coming to Alabama. The France aerospace company will construct a $600 million passenger plane production facility employing about 1,000 workers in Mobile. The facility at the Brookley Aeroplex in Mobile will assemble the A319, A320, and A321 model airliners which are used by airlines all over the world. The construction phase of the project will create almost 3,200 construction-related jobs over three years.
Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier said, “We are going to create jobs we are going to bring investments and we are going to create economic development right here in Mobile, AL.” “We are very proud to be in an American town that we call home.”
Congressman Jo Bonner (R) from Mobile said, “Today, we lift the veil off plans for an industry altering world class aircraft assembly plant as well as the blueprint for South Alabama’s economic future. For the better part of a decade EADS/Airbus has not only forged a partnership, but also a deep bond of friendship with Mobile and the Gulf Coast, standing with us during Katrina with more than 20 tons of relief supplies and working alongside us at their engineering facility at Brookley Aeroplex. We weathered and overcame storms that challenged our resolve, yet we never lost confidence that we would one day join hands to make history.”
Alabama Public Service Commissioner Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh (R) said, “This decision by Airbus shows that Alabama continues to remain competitive with other states in the nation when it comes to recruiting highly sought after industrial prospects and mega-projects. The quality of our world-class workforce and the work ethic of Alabamians give us a considerable advantage, and I believe the affordable utility rates and dependable energy we can provide puts us over the top when compared to other states.”
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said, “When Airbus aircraft take to the skies, Alabama’s pride and workmanship will soar along with them. We have worked a long time and have put in many hours to make this announcement a reality. This project will create thousands of well-paying jobs that the people of this area need and deserve. Alabama has the best workforce you’ll find anywhere in the country. Airbus has recognized all that this state can offer expanding industries, and the company is making a significant new investment in Alabama.”
U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R) from Alabama said, “Mobile is advancing toward a historic period of growth and prosperity.”
Airbus Head of Strategy Christian Sherer said that the Mobile plant would be built just like the company’s Hamburg and Toulouse plants. The plant is expected to be up and in full production by 2015. By 2017 the plant will be producing 40 to 50 airplanes a year.
PSC Commissioner Cavanaugh said, “ I am convinced our ability to provide affordable energy to these large industrial utility consumers has helped Alabama land companies like Airbus, Hyundai, Mercedes, Honda, Toyota and so many others across the state.” Twinkle Cavanaugh warned that new EPA regulations could close many of Alabama’s coal powered electricity plants and make it harder for Alabama to attract new jobs like Airbus in the future.
Gov. Bentley said, “I want to thank everyone involved – from Airbus to our Alabama Department of Commerce to leaders of the City of Mobile and Mobile County. They, along with local economic developers and federal partners, helped bring this project home. “We all worked together for a common goal, and success is the result. Airbus and its parent company, EADS, have been great citizens of Alabama for years, and we are excited to build on our wonderful relationship.”
Airbus already has an engineering center in Mobile that employs 200 workers. This will be the first Airbus assembly plant built in the United States.