Here is today's summary of economic development news, a free service of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, representing Alabama's private sector investment in economic development.  If you enjoy NewsFlash, thank an EDPA Partner.


In this issue:


Bell named new UA president
Staff report
June 18, 2015 

Stuart R. Bell was named Thursday as president of the University of Alabama by the board of trustees of the UA System.


Bell's appointment will be effective July 15.


The 58-year-old Bell comes to UA from Louisiana State University, where he was executive vice president and provost.



Port Authority, APM Terminals announce $40 million container facility expansion
on June 17, 2015 

APM Terminals came to Mobile in 2005, looking for a place to build a hub for container transport on the Gulf Coast. This week the company announced long-awaited plans to expand that facility on the west banks of the Mobile River.


APM Terminals will invest $40 million to add two more gantry cranes capable of serving the largest modern container ships and expand its container yard by 20 acres. The Alabama State Port Authority partnered with APM Terminals almost 10 years ago to build the first phase of the container terminal project on Choctaw Point.


Through an agreement with the Port Authority, APM Terminals already controls the operations of the facility which opened in 2008.   



RMCI of Huntsville announces United Kingdom expansion at Paris Air Show
on June 17, 2015

A Huntsville company focused on helicopter health monitoring technology and analysis says it will expand its reach soon with new offices in the United Kingdom and Asia.


RMCI of Huntsville announced today from the Paris Air Show it will expand in the United Kingdom. (Courtesy of Made in Alabama)

RMCI, Inc., announced today from the Paris Air Show its plans to establish a presence in Derbyshire, England, to better serve customers throughout the UK and Europe. Acoustics specialist and aviation expert Dr. Lesley Brealey will run the office.


The firm says it will also enter Asia sometime next year.






Auburn launches first FAA-approved UAS flight school

AUBURN, Alabama - Auburn University is positioned to become a key training center for commercial operators of unmanned aircraft as it launches the nation's first FAA-authorized flight school for those piloting the aerial systems.


Auburn's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight School represents the latest chapter in the university's longstanding involvement in aviation, and the program is getting started at a time when commercial interest in drones, as they're often called, is surging. The Federal Aviation Authority approved Auburn's request in April.


"Having been involved in aviation for 80-plus years, it's just natural for us to move into the next phase of aviation, the unmanned aircraft systems," said Bill Hutto, director of the Auburn University Aviation Center. "The fields these craft could be used in is limited only by the imagination - engineering, building science, construction, forestry, agriculture. There's going to be a big demand for them, and the FAA, by its own admission, is behind the curve on this."







Paris Air Show: Birmingham to present Airbus supplier conference this fall
on June 16, 2015 

Birmingham will be the site of an airline aviation industry conference this fall, Mayor William Bell announced from the Paris Air Show today.


Bell told that the city was selected for a conference of Airbus suppliers. The conference represents Birmingham's first tangible accomplishment from attending the international air show.


Bell said the conference will bring hundreds of manufacturers and suppliers from around the world to Birmingham. The city will partner with the Birmingham Business Alliance to present the conference.






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