Manufacturers paint picture of Jacksonville growth at Paris Air Show
Jun 29, 2015
Jensen Werley
Jacksonville Business Journal

The Jacksonville Aviation Authority's trip to the Paris Air Show bore some good news for the First Coast.

Among the companies that have or are eying Jacksonville for expansion projects: Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), Embraer (NYSE: ERJ) and Mitsubishi.

JAA met with about 20 clients and potential clients, JAA CEO Steve Grossman told board members Monday morning.

The meetings are an indicator there is growth potential for Jacksonville's aircraft industry.

One of the biggest meetings was with Boeing's military branch.

“We had phenomenal meetings with Boeing,” Grossman said, “who is pleased with its current operations.”

Boeing does work at Cecil Airport, and there is talk that the work could grow: The F/A-18 aircraft has to last longer than expected, which would require more of the maintenance work that already happens in Jacksonville. Grossman said that Boeing added that Cecil is well-positioned for P-8 maintenance long term.

The JAA also spoke with Boeing's commercial side.

Jacksonville had previously been a candidate for work on Boeing's 777, which went to Seattle once labor negotiations were worked out. However, while at the air show, Boeing told the JAA that Jacksonville was its preferred site had Seattle not come together.

“It bodes well for these types of projects,” Grossman said, “that we can win one.”