Tuesday is AL deadline to submit Boeing plant proposal - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Tuesday is AL deadline to submit Boeing plant proposal

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Alabama's Department of Commerce has been working basically around the clock since last week in an effort to put an incentive package and sales pitch together to offer Boeing.

"We worked on it last night," Gov. Robert Bentley told reporters Monday. "They will be submitting a final request for proposal."

Boeing has been searching for a new location to build parts for and assemble its 777X commercial aircraft since mid-November when a major union that Boeing deals with rejected a new contract related to the 777X project in the state of Washington. The City of Huntsville has also participated with state officials to construct a package to offer the Chicago-based aviation giant.

Gov. Bentley says the motivation to secure Boeing's project is simple.

"Just like we're becoming the number one automobile producing state in the country we would also like to be the number one aircraft producing state in the country" Gov. Bentley said.

He also added that adding more aerospace jobs is a key part of Accelerate Alabama, the Department of Commerce's main plan for improving the diversity of Alabama's economy.

Alabama could become a very crowded place for high stakes commercial aviation production very soon. Airbus, Boeing's France-based chief competitor, is currently building its first US assembly line in Mobile. Gov. Bentley says the state's workforce could handle two such projects in the event Boeing selects North Alabama for the 777X.

"We can do it" Gov. Bentley said. "They are competitors and they do produce slightly different aircraft."

The governor wouldn't delve into specifics as to what the state will offer to Boeing. He did not rule out the possibility of a Special Session devoted to building a package of incentives aimed at Boeing.

"I haven't yet decided on a Special Session" Gov. Bentley said. That decision would have to come very soon because lawmakers are already set to return to Montgomery for their annual legislative session on January 14.

Gov. Bentley says the state will put its best foot forward and maintains that Alabama is a serious player in the competition to land Boeing.

"We're very proud of what we have in Alabama and we will get that job done" he said.

Boeing is expected to make a decision from a pool of about a dozen states by the end of January.

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