Thursday, June 23, 2005
On this day:

Europeans Take Mobile

From the Mobile Register:

EADS North America Inc. on Wednesday named Mobile as the site of a proposed $600 million, 1,150-worker aircraft engineering and assembly center, ending a highly competitive, nationwide search with a decision that local officials said would alter the city's economic fate for generations to come.

EADS, a subsidiary of the Paris-based European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., said Mobile's Brookley Field Industrial Complex emerged "head and shoulders above" a list of candidates that began in January with 70 sites in 32 states...

EADS wants the plant to assemble KC-330 aerial refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force, and said the potential 1,000 aircraft assembly jobs it could create are contingent on the company winning at least a share of the Air Force contract. But EADS said it is committed to building an aircraft engineering center at Brookley whether or not it wins the tanker work.

Crosby said Brookley's strategic location -- particularly its lengthy runways, proximity to the Port of Mobile and ability to draw from a ready pool of workers -- distinguished it among a group of four finalists that also included airports in Charleston, S.C., Melbourne, Fla., and Kiln, Miss.

More here:
Even before it bids on [the Air Force] contract, however, EADS is having to lobby against a "buy American" provision in a House-passed defense bill that could bar it from pursuing Air Force work. It's also still trying to line up an American partner, most likely Northrop Grumman, that could smooth its path on Capitol Hill.

Even more here and here.