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Chip Drago
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Nodine reports on recent economic development trip

Mobile County Commissioner Stephen Nodine traveled last week with an area economic development mission to the United Kingdom, Spain and France to visit several production facilities at EADS Airbus and EADS CASA, similar to the ones that would be built in Mobile to assemble the KC-30 tanker if the the Northrop Grumman/EADS partnership wins a competition for the plum.

Mobile was chosen as the site for the tanker assembly by Northrop Grumman and their partner EADS, who are working together to win the project and bring it to Mobile.

The trip began in London, where Alabama officials attended an aerospace reception hosted by Governor Bob Riley, and attended the Farnborough air show, one of the largest gatherings of aerospace industry and supplier representatives in the world. From there, the delegation traveled to Madrid, Seville, and Toulouse where they met with local officials and toured the production facilities at EADS CASA and Airbus. 

Commissioner Mike Dean said he is proud that the County had representation at the week’s events along with other elected officials from across Alabama. 

“We are keeping our momentum going with this and other projects that we are working on bringing to Mobile County," Dean declared. "There are still a lot of opportunities out there for us, and we have to be willing to go out and get them and bring them back to Mobile County.”

“The schedule was a grueling one: we visited three countries in a week, and three major production facilities, in addition to attending the air show as representatives of Mobile County. But this trip also gave me the opportunity to witness the magnitude of EADS’s collective investment in Mobile, with the Airbus Engineering Center, Tanker assembly and CASA Delivery Center, JCA assembly and Coast Guard support,” said Nodine.

“The facilities we visited in Madrid and Seville, Spain and Toulouse, France are very similar to what will be coming to Mobile if the KC-30 and Joint Cargo Aircraft projects are won. This was an incredible opportunity to witness first-hand the opportunities that are on the very near horizon for Mobile County.”

Nodine, Riley, Mobile Mayor Sam Jones and members of the Baldwin County Commission also attended the Farnborough Air Show, an event that attracts hundreds of aerospace and aviation supply companies from around the world. Representatives from the Mobile Chamber of Commerce also attended.

“The air show was a great opportunity to showcase Mobile County,” said Nodine. “We are quickly becoming a leader in the aerospace industry, and as we bring these larger projects to Mobile, we want to also attract the suppliers and vendors for those large-scale projects as well.”

Commissioner Juan Chastang agreed, adding, “This trip strengthened ties with our partners in the KC-30 project and shows our commitment to bringing projects that will have a substantial positive impact on our economy to Mobile County.”

Photos of EADS facilities in Toulouse, France. 1 & 2.