CRESTVIEW — The topic of how the Airbus plant locating in Mobile, Ala., will affect Bob Sikes Crestview Airport has surfaced again at the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce.
Sunil Harman discusses the benefits Bob Sikes Airport brings to the table>>
Okaloosa County Airports Director Sunil Harman says an unnamed aerospace company is pursuing construction of a plant somewhere in Mississippi, Alabama or Florida to provide Airbus parts.
All three states reportedly are wooing the firm, playing the states' offers of tax and infrastructure incentives against one another.
Okaloosa County Commissioner Wayne Harris says that Northwest Florida is under consideration by the company, with Bob Sikes Airport being a forerunner in the discussions.
During a visit to the chamber of commerce earlier this month, state Rep. Doug Broxson said Crestview's airport is well positioned to accommodate Airbus suppliers.
Harman, speaking Aug. 22 to the chamber's Airport Committee, said though some local airports have lost retrofitting jobs to Central American firms that have lower wages, building new components for Airbus must be done in the U.S., and within proximity to the Alabama plant.
"There are certain parts you don't want built off-shore," Harman said. "I'd never fly a Russian-built airplane, and there's an IATA advisory saying you shouldn't fly a Chinese-built airplane." The International Air Transport Association, also known by its initials, sets standards for airline and airport services.
Bob Sikes Airport has an advantage over most regional airports because of its long runway and its access to transportation by rail, road or air, Harman said.
"An 8,000-foot runway like Bob Sikes can accommodate most cargo freighter aircraft," Harman said.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.