San Antonio keeping tight-lipped about 777X

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by GLENN FARLEY / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 21 at 8:03 PM

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- San Antonio, Texas, has been on Washington's radar for over two years as a top competitor, first for the 737 MAX in 2011. And there's no reason to believe it won't compete for the 777X. The story may not be in what officials in San Antonio are saying - it's in what they're not saying.

Is flaking paint and rust in Texas a threat to the economic future of Washington?

The old hangar on what was the Kelly Air Force Base is now being re-developed.  Could something like this  be bulldozed for the 777X? 

And it's not Kelly anymore - it's Port San Antonio. And that future looks pretty bright.

Boeing is already in San Antonio, employing thousands doing heavy overhaul of large military jets like the C-17. So is Lockheed Martin and a host of other aerospace companies. This part of Kelly isn’t rusty any more.

Related: Cost-of-living comparison: Seattle and San Antonio

Texas is playing the 777X very close to the vest. In fact, everybody KING 5 tried to talk to about bringing the 777X down to San Antonio didn't want to talk.

But that doesn't mean they haven't been talking in the past, like when Boeing announced it was closing its military overhaul operations in Wichita, Kansas, which among other things maintained Air Force One. 

"When you have a consolidation, you always go the most cost effective operations you have, and they certainly have one here in San Antonio,” said Nelson Wolff, Bexar County Judge and Bexar County Executive.

Wolff wasn't talking to Texas media earlier this year about something called "Project Bullet," a confidential play to land a big aerospace prize. The 777X wasn't considered in play earlier this year, but could Project Bullet or something like it win the 777X? Just like another closely held deal that landed San Antonio a huge Toyota plant employing thousands?

What a lot of people in Puget Sound may not realize is that Boeing has a lot of operations in other states and a lot of those like the one in San Antonio are pretty big.

The addition of St. Louis, Missouri, which is builds the F-15 fighter jet, should come no surprise, and the list is likely to grow longer.

 

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