By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Friday, Alabama’s Congressional Delegation sent a letter to Boeing Chairman and President James McNerney Jr. making the case that Huntsville, Alabama is the ideal site for Boeing to build it’s 777X airliners.
Senator Richard Shelby (R) from Alabama and the rest of the Alabama congressional delegation wrote, “It has recently come to our attention that Boeing is considering locations for its planned 777X fuselage manufacturing, composite wing fabrication, and final assembly operations. We are pleased to hear reports that Huntsville is in contention as a location for this expansion. Thus, we write to tell you why North Alabama is the best choice.”
On Tuesday the South Huntsville Civic Association wrote on Facebook, “Gov. Robert Bentley and other officials including Chairman of the Madison County Commission and the Mayor of Huntsville met with Boeing representatives today to try to land a new jet manufacturing plant in Huntsville. In addition to bringing 1000’s of high paying jobs to Huntsville and surrounding areas, this move would help diversify the basis of Huntsville’s economic stability with more private sector employment.”
The Alabama delegation wrote, “Given that Boeing already has such a significant presence in Huntsville, including performing much of its 787 and future 777X engineering work there, you are already familiar with the large, skilled, and reliable workforce that the area provides. All of Alabama’s universities offer top-notch engineering and science programs with state-of-the-art facilities that can provide the skilled personnel that your expanded presence in Huntsville would require. Locally, the University of Alabama in Huntsville offers one of the nation’s best Aerospace Engineering programs, while the Alabama Aviation Center, in partnership with the state’s two-year college system, is also committed to providing large numbers of well-educated and trained aerospace workers.”
Numerous news reports are saying that the American aerospace giant Boeing is considering Huntsville, Alabama, among other for its planned 777X aircraft. The delegation emphasized Boeing’s significant existing footprint in North Alabama and the area’s business-friendly environment which includes decades of high-tech aerospace expertise, low taxation and cost-of-living, a rational regulatory regime, right-to-work laws, low utility rates, and excellent infrastructure.
Joining Senator Shelby were Senator Jeff Sessions (R) from Alabama, and Congressional members: Robert Aderholt (R) from Haleyville, Mo Brooks (R) from Huntsville, Spencer Bachus (R) from Vestavia Hills, Mike Rogers (R) from Saks, Martha Roby (R) from Montgomery, and Terri Sewell (D) from Birmingham.
Alabama’s First Congressional District is without a representative while awaiting the special election in December between Bradley Byrne (R) and Burton Leflore (D).
Governor Robert Bentley (R) was elected following the Great Recession. Tens of thousands of Alabama jobs disappeared and Gov. Robert Bentley inherited a state that had exhausted its Rainy Day Funds, the Governor’s economic incentives fund, and the Obama stimulus funds with a general fund and an education fund that were made by a Democratic legislature that vastly had overestimated current revenue. Bentley has made improving the jobs situation in the state a priority. His biggest success to this point has been luring Aerospace Giant Airbus’s airliner assembly plant to Mobile. If Boeing locates the 777X plant to Huntsville it would cement Alabama’s position as one of the premier aerospace manufacturing and research destinations in the world.