EDA Discuss Commercial Aerospace Growth for Bay Couny

Commercial Aerospace is a rapidly growing industry, and economic development leaders say Bay County is in a prime position to benefit from that growth.

Local leaders from five northwest Florida counties flew to Hamburg, Germany in December to attend a forum hosted by Airbus.

Their goal was to learn how a new Airbus Jet Manufacturing Plant in Mobile could lead to growth in our area.

Wednesday, members of the contingent shared what they learned during the Bay Economic Development Alliance investors meeting.

Statistics show in the next 20 years demand for air traffic will grow at 4.7% annually.

Part of the Bay EDA's strategy is to attract aerospace suppliers.

"Airbus is going to build jets in Mobile, Alabama, and as they ramp up for the next 3 to 4 to 5 years they are going to be looking for suppliers, and suppliers are going to come from all over the country and all over the world and some will locate near the plant. We've got an opportunity to compete for some of those, that is why we went to Hamburg, Germany, that is what we'll be focused on this year," said Neal Wade.

The Bay EDA has set a goal or creating or attracting 2,000 jobs in the county in 2014.

They met and surpassed their goal of 1300 jobs in 2013.