Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dreamliners Like Our Climate

Boeing announced yesterday that they will locate another plant in North Charleston. The final decision was between Everett, Washington and North Charleston, South Carolina. In the end Carolina prevailed and the 787 Dreamliner assembly line will provide a minimum of 3,800 direct jobs. Boeing must also invest a minimum of $750 Million to qualify for the incentive package. The deal is likened to the highly successful BMW deal under Governor Campbell in the early 1990's.

The State newspaper (Columbia, SC) explains:

"Boeing, based in Chicago, said it chose North Charleston over Everett, Wash., because the location worked best as the company boosts production of the mid-size jet, designed to carry up to 250 passengers.
Boeing already operates a factory in North Charleston that makes 787 parts and owns a 50-percent stake in another plant there that also makes sections of the plane.
For years, Boeing has discussed the possibility of expanding production of the 787 to meet demand for the plane, its best-selling new aircraft to date. About 55 airlines have ordered some 840 of the planes since the program was launched in 2003 - far more than any other Boeing plane at the same stage of development. Delays have set the project back at least two and a half years."

Of course not everyone is as happy as Palmetto State citizens. Out in beautiful Washington, once the home of Boeing headquarters before their move to Chicago, there was much grumbling.

The State again:

"Boeing picked South Carolina, the third least-unionized state in the country... after failing to reach a no-strike deal with Seattle-area workers. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers shuttered Boeing factories four times in 20 years with walkouts, including a two-month strike in 2008.
"We are astounded that Boeing has chosen to compound the problems of the 787 program by further fragmenting the supply chain," said Ray Goforth, executive director of ...IFPTE Local 2001 in Seattle."

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire called it "obviously a very disappointing day."

But South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford saw it differently, "Just as the similarly monumental BMW investment catalyzed a now extensive automotive presence across South Carolina more than 15 years ago, we believe Boeing landing decisively in North Charleston will spur on an already growing aerospace hub in our state."