Aerospace summit landing in Huntsville
Sept. 24, 2013
...HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A city long known as one of the nation’s premiere aerospace and
defense centers will host the third aerospace summit of the four-state Aerospace Alliance
next month at the Von Braun Center.
...The agenda includes discussions about unmanned aerial systems, a session on
composites manufacturing, commercial space programs and an update on the $600
million Airbus final assembly line being built in Alabama’s port city of Mobile.
...Huntsville, a former cotton and textile center in north Alabama, years ago embraced
change and eventually became a world-class technology magnet with one of the highest
per capita incomes in the nation. At least 200 are expected to attend the Aerospace
Alliance 2013 Fall Summit Oct. 17-18.
...It’s the third summit sponsored by the public/private group created in October 2009 at
the height of the contest between Boeing and EADS/Northrop Grumman over a contract
to build aerial tankers. Boeing won, but the group continues its work. Member states
Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi, advocate for policies, programs and specific
aerospace projects on the local, state and national level to enhance growth of the
aerospace sector.
...The group’s first summit in 2011 was in Destin, Fla., at the Sandestin Resort. The
following year it was held in New Orleans. Both cities are located along the Interstate 10
corridor in a region that includes aerospace activities ranging from space to aerial
weapons development. Huntsville was chosen for the third meeting to shine a spotlight on
another aerospace center.
...""The Aerospace Alliance has supported the marketing efforts of members – the states
of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida – since 2009. Together these states
represent the fourth largest manufacturing region in the world behind Washington,
California, and Toulouse, France,” said Jason Dean, managing director of the Aerospace
Alliance.
...“Besides our strong presence along the I-10 Gulf Coast corridor, the states have
significant clusters in places like Shreveport, La., Columbus, Miss., Huntsville and the
Space Coast. So we wanted to shine the light on of some of these other well-established
aerospace and aviation communities,” Dean said.
...Huntsville, one of the first incorporated towns in Alabama, remained small for years.
Changes began for Huntsville during World War II when three chemical munitions facilities
were established. After the war Huntsville was chosen to develop Army rockets and
missiles, including the Redstone Rocket.
...Aerospace and military technologies today are key drivers of the Huntsville economy.
The city, the fourth largest in Alabama, is home to scores of Fortune 500 companies,
including the biggest names in aerospace and defense. Huntsville is home to NASA’s
George C. Marshall Space Flight Center and the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile
Command at the Army’s Redstone Arsenal.
...Known as “Rocket City,” Huntsville is the location of 3,800-acre Cummings Research
Park, the second largest research park in the nation and fourth largest in the world. It’s
also home to the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a center for technology and
engineering.
...To register go to www.aerospacealliance.com - David Tortorano, GCAC, 09/24/13
Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Ala. Von Braun photo