Boeing Briefs Washington State Officials on 7E7 Criteria
want our business, this is what you're going to have to do. That's
the message delivered from Boeing executives to government leaders
in the Puget Sound area of Washington. Friday, Boeing briefed
Washington state Gov. Gary Locke and other state officials,
including members of Congress, on the criteria it will consider in
choosing the location for the final assembly of its proposed 7E7
passenger jet. The company had committed to share the criteria with
state officials before initiating the site selection process.
For Boeing, making deals with local governments has become a way
of life - most notably, in the aerospace giant's bid for a new
corporate headquarters. Chicago, Dallas and several other cities
offered huge tax concessions and public works favors in exchange
for the bragging rights of having Boeing as a hometown business. In
the end, Chicago won (new corp. headquarters, below, right).
So what are Boeing execs looking for this time?
"We are in search of the site that will allow us to meet our needs
most successfully and deliver to the world a safe and efficient
airplane," said Mike Bair, Boeing Commercial Airplanes senior vice
president of the 7E7 program.
Proposals are due by June 20. Boeing also said Friday that only
locations within the US will be considered for the final assembly
site. The final assembly location will be announced by the end of
Competition for the Boeing 7E7 assembly plant is expected to be
fierce. Even in an era of disappearing aircraft sales, the new jet
is expected to be a hot little number, where the "E" stands for
"economy." It's expected to cut airline costs by as much as 20
percent. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2008.
Boeing hasn't yet published a list of potential sites for the
7E7 plant, but officials in Texas and Arizona say they want a crack
at it. We're hearing reports that the same is true in Alabama.
Company executives first said they would even consider going
outside the United States in its search for a plant site. But
Friday, Boeing nixed that notion.
First in line for a shot at the big prize was the Snohomish
County Economic Development Council in Everett (WA). Boeing already
has a plant there, but its operations and workforce were
dramatically scaled back when the airplane manufacturer laid off
more than 30,000 workers.
"Boeing's decision about whether to assemble the 7E7 at our
Everett facility arguably is one of the most critical economic
crossroads our region will face in the foreseeable future," said
Council President Deborah Knutson in a statement issued Friday.
"As much as 40 percent of the wages earned in Snohomish County
alone come from manufacturing jobs, predominately in the aerospace
sector. Boeing's presence here, despite recent cutbacks in the size
of its Everett workforce, remains a dominant economic force.
"We strongly believe that Boeing's successful history here and
the dedication of its workers gives us a strong advantage in the
competition for the right to develop and assemble the 7E7," said
Ms. Knutson. Read that: We'll do what we can to appease you,
Boeing, but you owe us already.
7E7 Site Selection Wish List
- Suitable runway provisions
- Proximity to a port capable of around-the-clock operations
- Continuous availability of heavy traffic ways between plant
site and port
- Proximity to railways and interstate highways
- Available land, buildings and related infrastructure to
accommodate 7E7 final assembly and the collocation of
- Cost of land and buildings
- Construction cost
- Site preparation cost
- Support services (fire, police, emergency and medical
- Taxes, utilities, insurance and other recurring and
- Total cost of doing business
- Environmental considerations
- Local flying weather
- Possible extreme temperature impact to manufacturing,
- Susceptibility to natural disasters (earthquakes, tornados,
hurricanes and flooding)
- Community support
- Local community and governmental support for manufacturing
- Support of local, county and state governments for Boeing and
- Environmental regulations and permitting process
- Likelihood of long-term community support
- Ability to expand or modify facilities and infrastructure
- Quality of life that supports employee recruitment
- Additional infrastructure issues
- Including relative cargo and freight costs
- Availability of utilities including water, sewer, power, waste
- Transportation enhancements that support schedule and