Airshow highlights

The Farnborough International Airshow is going on in England this week. Here are Monday's Boeing-related announcements.

Ireland's Avolon commits to six twin-aisle 787-9 Dreamliners and single-aisle five 737 MAX 9s, valued at $2 billion.

China's Okay Airways ordered six 737 MAX 8s and four Next-Generation 737-800s, valued at $980 million.

Monarch Airlines is working toward a purchase agreement for 30 737 MAX 8s. It's valued at $3.1 billion.

Boeing announced a 200-seat version of the 737 MAX 8, giving airlines the option of 11 more seats.

Boeing rival Airbus announced updated versions of its A330 wide-body aircraft to improve fuel efficiency, increase range and help it compete against the 787.

Boeing, AP

Boeing Co. now has the green light to go ahead with development of 468 acres near Charleston International Airport.

The Army Corps of Engineers has signed off on the Chicago-based aerospace giant's wetlands mitigation plan to preserve nearly 4,000 acres, half of it wetlands, on three tracts near the Francis Marion National Forest, according to Boeing.

About 153 acres of the larger tract Boeing leased from the state in December across from its main North Charleston campus is wetlands. The company is offsetting the loss of those because it plans to develop the site between International Boulevard and Dorchester Road.

The aircraft maker hasn't disclosed its plans for all of the extra land, but it doesn't intend to waste any time with one of its parcels. It said work could begin this week near the existing S.C. Research Authority offices, where the company plans to paint its South Carolina-made 787 Dreamliners.

"You'll see significant property development taking place in the area of our new paint facility," Boeing South Carolina spokeswoman Candy Eslinger said.

The property occupied by the SCRA, which is moving to Summerville, will be demolished.

Boeing said it worked with federal, state and local agencies and conservation groups to identify the tracts for preservation, increasing public lands, public access and protections of land, water quality and several rare, threatened and endangered wildlife species.

"This investment significantly advances a national effort to protect and restore the fire-dependent native longleaf pine ecosystem," said Mark Robertson, S.C. executive director of The Nature Conservancy. "Together, these acquisitions represent one of the largest private conservation investments in the Francis Marion National Forest and surrounding region."

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources also hailed the mitigation plan, saying it will protect sensitive ecosystems.

The three tracts were acquired on earlier this year. Boeing funded the purchase of one tract by the Lowcountry Open Land Trust. The group will hold the property for up to five years and then transfer it to the Department of Natural Resources for long-term ownership and management.

Boeing funded the acquisitions of the other two tracts by the Open Space Institute and the Nature Conservancy. Those organizations will hold the properties for up to five years and then transfer them to the U.S. Forest Service.

The protected lands are:

The northern portion of the Keystone Tract on S.C. Highway 41 in Berkeley County. It includes about 1,677 acres with 720 acres of wetlands that abut the national forest and protected properties along the East Branch of the Cooper River, an area known as the Plantation Corridor.

Two other nearby tracts, both called Fairlawn, make up the additional acreage. One is 1,530 acres, with 853 acres of wetlands. The other is 695 acres, with 525 acres of wetlands.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.