Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Alabama Gov. Bob Riley and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Monday announced the launch of The Aerospace Alliance, a private/public organization that they say will establish the Gulf Coast and the surrounding region as a world-class aerospace, space and aviation corridor.
“This alliance will go far in promoting our region for what it is, one of the largest aerospace corridors in the world and a great place for companies in this sector to do business,” said Barbour said. “The Gulf Coast states share geographic proximity, a long tradition of aerospace and aviation activities and a skilled and experienced workforce, and by joining together, we will be well-positioned to take advantage of opportunities to grow this sector in our region.”
Barbour's office said the members of The Aerospace Alliance include business leaders, economic development professionals and government officials.
The first priority of The Aerospace Alliance is to help secure the KC-45 aerial tanker program for the region. If the KC-45 aircraft is selected, the tankers will be assembled in Mobile, Ala. Officials say it will bring 48,000 direct and indirect jobs to the region, and thousands of direct and indirect jobs to the region.
Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida are currently home to manufacturers of helicopters, missile defense systems, composite aircraft structures, engine components and many R&D firms.