Waiting for the 'bus: Officials lay groundwork for Airbus projects

Published: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 12:31 PM.

With the Southeast already attracting aviation industry, Sparks said Florida was recently listed by Price Waterhouse as the most attractive state for aviation manufacturing.

Florida, by beating out traditional aviation industry states Texas, Washington, Michigan and Ohio, is on the industry's radar as it expands to meet expected aircraft demand.

"We were the only county that had private industry with us" at the conference, Sparks said.

High-ranking Airbus officials' high-level reception and deferential treatment to the Northwest Florida contingent indicates Airbus' interest in the region, Harris said.

"They gave us the 100-dollar tour," Harris said. "It proved to me they're serious about what we're trying to do."

"I'm very encouraged about our future, but it's not going to come easily," Sparks said, adding the relationships incubated in Hamburg now must be cultivated and molded over the coming years.

"It leads me to believe you ain't going to get it this year, you ain't going to get it next year, you may not get it in five years, but you're going to get it," Harris said, referring to a significant share of the Airbus supply business.

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