Indiana one of 22 states pursuing Boeing facility - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Indiana one of 22 states pursuing Boeing facility


Offers are flying in across the country. Indiana and more than a dozen other states are all trying to land a $10 billion Boeing aircraft facility and more than 8,000 jobs to come with it.

Suitors are stacking up for Boeing's 777X jetliner from California to Pennsylvania, and now Indiana.

"We've had contact with Boeing," confirmed Indiana Governor Mike Pence.

At last count, Boeing tells Eyewitness News 22 states have proposed 54 sites.

"Any opportunity that we have to tell Indiana's story, to businesses large and small, we take the opportunity," Pence added.

The last time Indiana got caught up in a whirlwind pursuit, United Airlines' maintenance hub came to town. The 1.7-million square foot facility cost Indiana $300 million in state and local tax incentives, but the 6,000 jobs promised never came. In 2003, United left town and the Airport Authority was left holding the bag.

A year later, AAR, a small start-up with just a single repair operation, moved in.

"It is the premiere repair station it was set out to be when it was built for United Airlines," said Rick Uber, Vice President and General Manager for AAR.

The home built for United is now a leasing dream from AAR. The company fills 10 of the facility's 12 hangers, providing maintenance for major airline carriers.

"Started with about 12 people to get their certificate and get everything going here. Today we're about 1,080 employees and growing," said Uber.

With several businesses calling the old United hub home, the question now comes back to what Boeing wants for its 777X - and where. According to published reports from major newspapers, the winning hand will offer:

A facility next to an airport with a 9,000-foot runway.
Highway, road and rail connection, plus a water port.

In addition, other considerations could be deeply discounted land, infrastructure improvements, training subsidies and, like United, tax breaks on every level. State officials are not ready to talk about specifics.

"I don't have anything further to add at this time," said Governor Pence.

Boeing is not releasing the state's or its selection criteria, but says it could choose one location or several sites for the production of its new plane.

Indiana Economic Development Corporation Statement:

The IEDC actively tells Indiana's story on a global stage, showcasing the state's highly-rated business climate. Indiana is a state that works for business. Our talented workforce, enviable fiscal condition, strong job growth and the recent passage of the largest tax cut in state history are a testament to our story and make Indiana an attractive location for new investment and job opportunities. On a daily basis, the IEDC assists companies like Boeing in finding out how Indiana fits into their long-term business plans. Out of respect for companies, all discussions are confidential until we have completed negotiations and have a final acceptance from them.

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