After being shunned by Boeing in its search for a plant site, the developer of Alliance Airport in north Fort Worth has set its sights on landing an Airbus facility.
Alliance, owned by Hillwood Properties, is one of three locations that Texas officials submitted to EADS North America as possible sites for an aircraft assembly plant.
EADS, a French-German aerospace consortium, owns 80 percent of Airbus, the Boeing rival.
With an eye on a future contract to build refueling tankers for the Air Force, EADS officials in January asked officials in all 50 states to offer locations for an engineering complex that could also become a factory.
Thirty-two states submitted proposals containing 70 locations by Thursday's deadline, EADS spokesman Guy Hicks said Friday. Texas officials offered Alliance, Ellington Field in Houston and the Brownsville/Harlingen area.
Although there is no formal Pentagon plan to build a new generation of aerial refueling planes, analysts say one is likely in the next few years.
An EADS engineering complex in Wichita, Kan., also is bidding for the assembly plant.
Hicks said EADS will open a second U.S. complex in 2006 that will employ 100-150 people to do engineering work on Airbus planes. It could become a tanker assembly plant.
Boeing went through a similar process of looking for a site to build its new 787 jetliner before deciding to assemble it in Everett, Wash.
Staubach Co. of Dallas is advising EADS in the site selection.
Washington state's hopes of wooing an aircraft assembly plant that could be built by a major Boeing Co. rival may get a boost from a package of tax breaks designed for Boeing itself.
The parent of European plane maker Airbus might accept tax breaks and other government incentives in the United States that are similar to those it criticized rival Boeing Co. for receiving.
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