Wednesday, June 22, 2011

State ‘Poised For Growth’ In Aerospace Industry

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley wraps up recruiting trip in Europe, optimistic about the state's aerospace future.

STUTTGART, Germany - Alabama Governor Robert Bentley says the state is "poised for tremendous growth" in the aerospace industry.

Bentley, leading a delegation from Alabama to the Paris Air Show, met with top executives of roughly 15 aerospace companies over the past two days.

"They're interested. It's just whether or not they have the ability to expand or whether or not they want to build a new plant," the Governor told News Five in an exclusive interview from Germany.

The trip comes four months after Mobile's disappointing defeat in the $40 billion Air Force tanker contest, but the company that put the Port City in that fight may still be considering other opportunities here.

Governor Bentley tells us, EADS has discussed building other aircraft, though he couldn't offer any details.

"We had good discussions," said Bentley. "They love the area, the Gulf Coast. If they were to do anything in the United States, that's where it would be."

Mobile Mayor Sam Jones, Mobile County Commissioner Merceria Ludgood and representatives from the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce also made the trip.

Governor Bentley left Paris this afternoon, traveling to Stuttgart, Germany. The governor is meeting with Mercedes-Benz executives about a possible expansion at the automaker's plant in Tuscaloosa County.

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