By John Sharp
MOBILE, Alabama – A delegation of state and city officials are going to Hamburg, Germany, next week in an effort to pitch Mobile as an attractive landing spot for Airbus suppliers.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, Mobile Mayor Sam Jones, and Mobile Airport Authority Executive Director Bill Sisson will deliver separate presentations during an aviation forum at the Congress Center Hamburg.
Also traveling from Alabama is the state’s Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield, representatives from the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce and “various leaders from industry and development authorities,” according to a news release issued today.
The trip could be an opportunity for officials to lure sought after suppliers to Brookley Aeroplex, where city and county taxpayers are slated to invest an estimated $12 million into fixing up roads in preparation for Airbus starting up its Mobile operations in 2015.
“I am excited about this opportunity to put Mobile front and center before key Airbus suppliers at a forum specifically focusing on Brookley Aeroplex and Mobile,” Jones, who leaves tomorrow, said in a news release.
Jones’ presentation is Tuesday; Bentley speaks Wednesday.
Sisson will join consultants and officials within the aerospace industry for a panel discussion Tuesday. Also participating is Barry Johnson, a senior advisor with the Obama Administration.
This isn’t the first time in recent months that a Mobile contingency traveled overseas in an effort to woo suppliers. In September, a group traveled to the ILA Berlin Air Show two months after Airbus unveiled plans in July to construct a $600 million assembly plant – its first on U.S. soil – at Brookley.
Since the announcement, speculation has surfaced about where suppliers for the European planemaker might locate.