North Carolina, Pennsylvania lose 777X assembly bid

The Seattle Times and The Associated PressDecember 20, 2013 

Boeing on Friday started notifying locations around the country of their status in the 777X site selection process, company spokesman Doug Alder said.

“We’re appreciative of everyone who has taken part, and our teams continue to evaluate the sites that remain under consideration,” Alder said. “A final decision is expected early next year.”

Though Alder said Boeing won’t identify any of the locations, word leaked out Friday that North Carolina was out of the running.

The News & Record reported that North Carolina’s Department of Commerce on Friday notified local officials that none of North Carolina’s three candidates had made Boeing’s short list for a site to build the 777X.

The North Carolina sites were Greensboro’s Piedmont Triad International Airport, Charlotte-Douglas International Airport and the Global TransPark in Kinston, the Greensboro newpaper reported on its website.

In Pennsylvania, a spokesman for the state Department of Economic and Community Development told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the state heard Friday from Boeing it didn’t make the cut.

“They were appreciative of receiving a quality and detailed proposal from Pennsylvania, particularly given the short time frame to respond,” said spokesman Steven Kratz.

The company has yet to decide where to build the 777X, which is expected to be its only new jetliner program for the next 15 years, along with the narrow-body 737 MAX jet due in 2017.

Union workers in Washington, where Boeing builds 777 planes, rejected a contract offer last month, leading the company to consider other places.

Boeing said it received 54 responses from proposed sites in 22 states in response to its request for proposal.

Washington state officials said they had not heard anything from Boeing. “We assume we’re still in the running and continue to work in that direction,” said Alex Pietsch, state Office of Aerospace director, according to The Everett Herald.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s office said the state is interested in seeing Boeing jetliners built there, but it isn’t saying whether that might happen. Bentley spokeswoman Jennifer Ardis said Friday the state remains in a nondisclosure agreement with Boeing, so officials can’t comment on the project. Boeing isn’t releasing the list publicly, but Huntsville officials say their area is being considered.

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