Air Force tanker contract: Mobile loses all hope for plant as EADS announces it won't protest
Published: Friday, March 04, 2011, 11:19 AM Updated: Friday, March 04, 2011, 4:25 PM
By Press-Register staff
MOBILE, Alabama -- The North American arm of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. said this morning that it will not protest a decision by the U.S. Air Force to let Boeing Co. build its new fleet of refueling tanker aircraft, ending Mobile's hopes of landing a $600 million aircraft assembly plant.
Mobile Mayor Sam Jones said today that he understands EADS' decision not to protest.
"We don't want to challenge just for there to be a challenge," Jones said. "I think we have to respect that decision."
The selection of Boeing's KC-767 tanker, announced Feb. 24 by the Air Force, stunned observers on both sides of the high-stakes competition for the $35 billion deal.
EADS, the parent company of Airbus, met Monday and Tuesday with Air Force officials at the Pentagon for debriefings on why it lost the high-stakes competition to Chicago-based Boeing. EADS spent this week evaluating whether to challenge the award in a formal protest before the Government Accountability Office.