Gulf Coast delegation readies for Farnborough International Airshow

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) -Mayor Sandy Stimpson and three Mobile City Council are leaving later this week for an overseas economic trip.

It’s all in an effort of creating jobs in Mobile.

DESTINATION: FARNBOROUGH

They’re traveling to England for the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow.

The group of representatives hopes to meet with suppliers for Airbus.

But, is it necessary for the city to hold face to face meetings in England, to bring business to Mobile?

STIMPSON: “WE NEED TO BE THERE”

The Farnborough International Airshow is held every other year, allowing opportunities for government leaders to meet with aerospace executives from around the world.

Mayor Sandy Stimpson is planning to attend.

He said we’re at the point now where suppliers are starting to decide where they will move.

Stimpson said, “Are they going to be here in Mobile, next to Airbus, or somewhere else? You’re going to have the chief executives, the senior executives, with Airbus there. We need to be there with the Airbus executives so they can introduce us to their ‘Tier One’ suppliers, ‘Tier Two’ suppliers.”

COUNCIL MEMBERS ALSO ABOARD

City Council President Gina Gregory, along with members C.J Small and Council Vice-President Fred Richardson, are planning to make the trip.

Richardson said the suppliers will come when the planes are built.

He said, “There’s nothing they can do now, because Airbus is not assembling anything now. They’re just in the construction mode, so, this is a perfect time for us to be there.”

COUNTY REPRESENTATIVES IN DELEGATION

Mobile County Commission President Connie Hudson is scheduled to go, along with commissioner Jerry Carl, and County Attorney Jay Ross.

Hudson said its important to meet with aerospace executives and suppliers to build and nurture relationships.

She said, “It’s the relationship that we built with Airbus that, after the whole debacle with the tanker contract, that the reason they were willing to come back and look and plant in Mobile was because of the relationship that had been built over the long term.”

CHAMBER: 25 APPOINTMENTS

Troy Wayman is the Vice President of Economic Development for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.

He’s attending the show, too, and is already filling his calendar.

Wayman said, “We have about 25 pre-scheduled appointments over the three days we’ll be at show.”

ALREADY MET WITH A SUPPLIER

But, can they help attract suppliers, and business, to the Mobile area?

Wayman and Hudson both gave the same example.

Wayman said, “We had a prospect in this week, in fact, that presents a good opportunity for us in the aerospace industry.”

Hudson said, “Several of us met with a supplier this week that looks very promising. This supplier will also be in Farnborough, so, we’ll have an opportunity to follow up there as well.”

MORE ON THE DELEGATION

The delegation is set to leave Friday.

Governor Robert Bentley is set to travel to the Airshow, too, and so is a delegation from Baldwin County.

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