Offers Internships To Competitiors
EADS North America announced Wednesday that Mobile, Alabama's
Brookley Industrial Complex has been selected as the site for the
EADS KC-330 advanced tanker US production facility. An Airbus
Engineering Center is scheduled to begin operations in 2006 and
will be co-located with the future production facility if an Air
Force contract is awarded.
The decision completes a five-month nationwide search for the
location that will become the center of activity for the KC-330 -
which is being offered to recapitalize the U.S. Air Force's aerial
refueling fleet. The Staubach Company, an international real estate
and management firm headquartered in Dallas, Texas managed the site
More than 70 sites from 32 states originally responded to EADS
North America's Request for Information (RFI). The list of
locations under consideration subsequently was narrowed to four
candidate sites in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and South
"All four potential locations were very qualified candidate
sites, with the Brookley Industrial Complex meeting or exceeding
all of our requirements for the KC-330 production facility," said
Ralph D. Crosby, Jr., EADS North America's Chairman and CEO. "We
were extremely impressed by the winning proposal, and by the
enthusiastic support from the city of Mobile, the Mobile Bay
region, the state of Alabama, and its U.S. Congressional
delegation. The selection of Mobile also serves the interests of
neighboring Florida and Mississippi, which will contribute
significantly to our employment base at the facility.
"I wish to thank Florida, Mississippi and South Carolina for
supporting our efforts. I am pleased to announce that EADS will
continue our relationship with these great states through the
establishment of a five year, university-level
cooperative/internship program conducted at the Airbus Engineering
Center in Mobile. This unique program will provide selected
students from each state the opportunity to work in the Center and
gain valuable experience for future careers in aerospace
engineering," concluded Mr. Crosby.
Mobile's Brookley Industrial Complex covers more than 4.5
million square feet of industrial space and includes the Mobile
Downtown Airport, which is equipped with two large runways and is
home to aerospace manufacturing, aircraft maintenance and air
freight businesses. The Alabama State Port Authority's Choctaw
Point Container Terminal and Intermodal Yard is directly adjacent
to the Brookley site, providing the deepwater port access that is
required for the KC-330 production facility's operation.
"This victory catapults Alabama toward a new era of growth in
the aerospace and defense industries," said Alabama Governor Bob
Riley. "Together, Alabama and EADS have united and are forging a
partnership that will benefit both the hardworking citizens of our
state and this world-renowned company."
"I am extremely pleased that Mobile has been selected for this
production facility. Mobile is the ideal choice as it offers
proximity to an airport and coastal waters as well as significant
space to grow and expand," stated U.S. Senator Richard Shelby.
"Modernization of the U.S. Air Force's aging tanker fleet is vital
to America's defense and homeland security, and I am proud that
Alabama is positioned to play a role as the future home of the
KC-330 facility. Our country's military strength relies on a
competitive industrial base, and I fully support an open and fair
competition in the Defense Department's section of the Air Force's
next tanker aircraft."
"We welcome the decision by EADS to locate its U.S. tanker
production facility in Alabama," said U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions.
"Alabama has successfully built a world renowned automotive
industrial capability and now looks forward to becoming the next
aerospace center of excellence for large aircraft production in the
Congressman Jo Bonner added, "EADS will benefit from locating in
Mobile and from some of the very finest employees in the U.S.
workforce. The KC-330 aircraft assembled in Mobile will be the most
capable Air Force refueling aircraft to enter the fighting force
--built in America with American labor."
Development of the KC-330 industrial facility will begin as a
new Airbus Engineering Center in the United States, with operations
starting in early 2006 and its employment growing to approximately
150 persons. This facility is to support continuing engineering
work on commercial Airbus models and military derivative aircraft -
including the A330, A340 and A350 jetliners, as well as the KC-330
Production will be initiated at the Mobile facility if the U.S.
Air Force orders any KC-330 aerial refueling tankers. Activities
will include aircraft final assembly, militarization and
modification. Depending on the size and pace of the Air Force
order, the total facility investment could reach $600 million, and
direct employment levels could be as high as 1,000 workers
--including a mix of structure mechanics, electronic and systems
specialists, engineers, quality assurance personnel and
Once operational, the Airbus Engineering Center also will become
home to the EADS cooperative internship program. Participating
students will be selected from universities located in Florida,
Mississippi and South Carolina. Each state will receive a $100,000
grant, disbursed over the five-year program, to support their
engineering interns at the Center.