Friday, December 13, 2013

Indiana In The Hunt For New Boeing Plant?

A number of states are competing to land a major Boeing aircraft manufacturing plant for the company's new 777-X long-haul aircraft. The opportunity to land the $10 billion investment and 8,500 high-paying jobs that go along with it has about a dozen states lobbying to win the prized economic development opportunity. Indiana is not among the states publicly identified as competing for the project, but an item in the latest edition of Ed Feigenbaum's "Indiana Legislative Insight" suggests Indiana is in the hunt for the new plant. "[W]e have exclusively learned Indiana is apparently among about one-dozen states (and one of the few that has remained entirely under the radar) competing for a huge economic development project," Feigenbaum writes.

The potential sites within Indiana are very limited. It must be close to an airport with a runway of at least 9,000 feet, have access to an international seaport and direct rail. Indianapolis has a suitable airport and prime land available nearby for the project but lacks access to a seaport, unlike Evansville and Gary, both of which have airports with runways just shy of the requirement according to Feigenbaum. The recent announcement this past week that Gary airport officials have entered into an agreement to privatize its airport might suggest a deal is in the works for that site. There's plenty of land and direct access to rail in Gary, not to mention its proximity to Boeing's corporate headquarters in Chicago.

Feigbenbaum suggests that this project is what's driving Gov. Mike Pence's decision to push legislation next year to eliminate or phase out the business personal property tax and emphasis on infrastructure and job skills improvement. He says Indiana would not be a contender for the project if it was not a right to work state. Other states have been very public in their bidding war to offer huge tax breaks and incentives to convince Boeing to land the project in their states. He thinks Indiana has won props with Boeing officials by respecting the corporate confidentiality agreement on the deal.


Flogger said...

It is too bad we did not have years ago Federal Legislation to stop this new War Between the States. We even have these bidding wars between cities with in a State.

It irks me that companies demand first class infrastructure, an educated society, a strong military, police and fire protection, but do not want to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

If you look at the Boeing Seattle factory, the direction of initial flight is out over the water, making Gary a comparable choice.