And now the Peach State is in the running for Boeing's 777X.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said Friday his state has been asked by the Chicago-based aerospace giant to join the bidding war to build the company's next generation of its popular 777 series passenger jets, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"We have received Boeing's (request for proposals) and we intend to make a proposal," Deal said. "The description of the RFP is very broad and very general, but there's some indication that Boeing is willing to do the project in phases. So we are going to submit the proposal and hopefully we are going to be hearing something soon. We are very encouraged."
Deal didn't talk about specifics. He said the proposal is due Tuesday and state officials were working furiously to meet the deadline.
Building assembly or parts plants in Georgia would put Boeing near the world's busiest airport in Hartsfield-Jackson International and the headquarters of one of the world's largest airlines in Atlanta-based Delta, a major Boeing customer, according to the Atlanta newspaper.
Georgia boasts about 500 aerospace-related companies, including a Lockheed Martin manufacturing center in Marietta, and business jet giant Gulfstream employs about 9,000 people between its headquarters in Savannah and in Brunswick, the newspaper said.
Georgia's entry into the race for up to 8,500 jobs and a $10 billion investment brings the number of states mentioned or actively vying for the 777X to a dozen.
Others include South Carolina, California, Alabama, Utah, Missouri, Kansas, Wisconsin, Texas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Washington, where lawmakers last month approved $8.7 billion in tax breaks for Boeing through 2040 to lure work on the new plane to the Pacific Northwest. Missouri lawmakers on Friday approved up to $1.7 billion in incentives for the airplane manufacturer. Wisconsin is offering a bid without being asked.
In North Carolina, at least two cities are trying to land 777X production work. Charlotte and Greensboro are putting together proposals.
Boeing Co. opened competitive bidding for the project in November after the Machinists union in Washington and Oregon rejected a labor contract extension that sought concessions but would have guaranteed work on the 777X in the Puget Sound area.
The company sent request for proposals to at least a dozen sites last month, but it has not disclosed which sites were invited to bid. States have until Tuesday to submit proposals.
Boeing has said it could build all of the new long-range, commercial airliner in one place or in separate locations. The company will announce its site selection early next year.
It hopes to start construction on the building in November 2014 with airplane production by July 2016. The first flight could take place by the end of the decade.
Boeing already has 259 orders for the new twin-engine, wide-body jet.
In South Carolina, Boeing builds the 787 Dreamliner at its campus at Charleston International Airport in North Charleston. The company, through the state Commerce Department, is acquiring 267 acres along International Boulevard for undisclosed uses. That sale is expected to close Dec. 13.
South Carolina is among the states that have received a request for proposals, according to a high-ranking official who asked to remain anonymous.
State Commerce Department officials won't comment on the state's offer. Unlike the openness of some states, South Carolina is generally tight-lipped about negotiations with prospective businesses.
Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.
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