Huntsville city leaders meet with governor, Boeing executives - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Huntsville city leaders meet with governor, Boeing executives

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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WAFF) -

A high level meeting in Alabama could pave the way for Boeing to locate a new assembly line here.

Governor Robert Bentley, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, along with several economic development team members, took part in a meeting Tuesday with Boeing company representatives in Birmingham. 

Boeing is looking for a home for its 777x assembly line after the International Association of Machinists rejected a contract that would have kept the project in Everett, Washington. 

"We do believe in Alabama we offer something very special, especially around Huntsville," said Governor Robert Bentley. 

The governor said Boeing is meeting with several states, but said executives should look no further. 

"They don't need to look at any other state," said Bentley. "Alabama is the state they need to look at most." 

Mayor Battle said the meeting went well, but that Huntsville is one of many options Boeing has to choose from. Cities such as Charleston and Salt Lake City are also being considered. Battle said it would make more sense for the business to expand here. 

"They know Huntsville. They know that we have engineers a heavy engineer presence.  We have systems integrators here, we have the capabilities for production, we have the land for production. So, if they can put the production together with the engineer systems integration they can make a plane that is second to none in the world," Battle said.

The mayor said it would be a natural progression for the city, especially considering Huntsville has engineers in the area who have worked on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

"We have some experience of what they are talking about doing. We have been in aeronautics forever and ever. We built the Space Station. Now we are looking at building an airplane," said Battle.

UAH Economics professor John Schnell says the move could be a big deal for the city's bottom line.

"Higher labor incomes in the area mean more spending for larger items," he said. "That tends to ripple and multiply through the affects of the economy."

Boeing officials have said they hope to have a decision on the new assembly line within the next three months.

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