ROCKFORD (WIFR) – After missing out on a massive Boeing plant, the question now is what the city will do to market the 400 acres of land on Rockford Airport grounds.
The Rockford Area Economic Development Council says they literally had less than a week to work with the airport on putting a proposal together ahead of Boeing’s visit, but that the almost surprise-like inclusion in a massive nationwide search for a chance at landing a Boeing plant will have residual effects on our region. The council says now they can take marketing that same plot of land to the next level based on how Boeing reacted favorably to what they saw, which was a large open field with access to a large runway near rail lines and major highways. Although it looks like the plant will stay in Washington state, the RAEDC says that doesn’t mean our area can’t still benefit from what could’ve been built here.
“I think there’s probably never been a better time for the aerospace companies, the tier ones, tier twos, tier threes in our marketplace to make application to Boeing to become a part of their supply chain and maybe bring a piece of the 777x work anyhow, even if we didn’t get the assembly,” said Eric Voyles with the RAEDC.
The RAEDC says they’ve already marketed that same land to another large airliner and two smaller airliner opportunities and will continue to market that land now that they know they can get big companies like Boeing seriously interested.
Boeing was choosing the site to build its new 777x jetliner. Rockford Airport was one of five finalists out of a field of over 50 competing for the plant.