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Thu, Mar 27, 2008

Kansas City In Running For Bombardier Plant

But Quebec Is Still Preferred Choice

Bombardier Aerospace is considering Kansas City, MO as a site for a passenger jet assembly plant, with a projected construction cost of $375 million US, according to city and state officials.

The Associated Press reports while it's still early, discussions have gone far enough that state officials outlined legislation Tuesday to provide state tax credits as a prerequisite for closing the deal.

Bombardier Aerospace, based in Montreal, Quebec, needs a place to assemble the CSeries of 110- and 130-seat passenger jets. The plant would eventually employ up to 2,100 people directly, and indirectly generate more than 5,000 more jobs at other area employers. The estimated overall economic impact over 22 years would be $5.9 billion US.

In a Tuesday interview, Missouri Department of Economic Development Director Greg Steinhoff told the AP, "This is exponentially larger than any deal we've ever done."

Bob Marcusse, president of the Kansas City Economic Development Council, told The Kansas City Star the new plant "...would be a game-changer for Kansas City. We would suddenly be major players in the aviation industry."

Even with its economic-incentive ducks in a row, the city and the state would have to wait out a battle over an earlier political commitment by the company to expand in Canada. That commitment was made before a plummeting US Dollar made locations in the states much more compelling.

The plant also might not be built anywhere unless Bombardier can generate enough advance orders to justify it.

Bombardier spokesman Marc Duchesne confirmed Tuesday to the AP the company has talked to Missouri officials, but indicated other states may also be in the running. The company already employs 5,000 people in the US, with major operations in Dallas, Tucson, and West Virginia.

Duchesne added the company's "preferred choice" for a new plant is still Mirabel, Quebec.

FMI: www.bombardier.com

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