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Greater Spokane, state trying to convince Boeing to build newest planes in Wash.

A Boeing spokesperson told KREM 2 they are moving toward a decision to begin building a New Mid-Market Airplane (NMA).
The logo of US aircraft manufacturer Boeing taken at Le Bourget airport, near Paris on June 23, 2013 during the 50th International Paris Air show. AFP PHOTO ERIC PIERMONT / AFP / ERIC PIERMONT

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Boeing is considering building a new type of plane and the state of Washington wants in on the project.

A Boeing spokesperson told KREM 2 they are moving toward a decision to begin building a New Mid-Market Airplane (NMA). Boeing defines the middle of the market as the segment between the largest 737 and the smallest 787. The space is not served by any airplane today.

The governor’s office announced in December they formed a council called Choose Washington NMA. They recently moved forward with conducting a competiveness study. The council and study aims to show Boeing everything the Evergreen state has to offer them.

Greater Spokane Incorporated was enlisted to help with the effort. Robin Toth, Vice President of Business Development for Greater Spokane Incorporated, said experienced workers, infrastructure and a strong reputation with Boeing sets Washington apart.

"They know that we are at the right level work force development, that we have the right business climate for aerospace, so those are the things we are trying to communicate to Boeing and to other aerospace suppliers as well," Toth said.

According to Boeing’s website, the aerospace giant employs more than 65,000 workers in the state, more than any other state. Toth said there are about 135,000 people employed in the entire aerospace industry in Washington.

As the company continues to grow jobs and projects have spread throughout the country, Washington is making a big push to stay competitive.

"It's obviously a concern when they are taking some of the product or the programs into other states, but we are really happy that the majority of what they are doing is done in Washington State,” Toth said.

Greater Spokane Incorporated is representing the Inland Northwest and the 240 plus aerospace companies in our region that depend on projects from aerospace companies like Boeing.

"We play just a big part in it as the companies do on the Puget Sound side of Washington state, we're sending products over there every single day. Boeing knows us very well, they know the assets that we have over here and we are hoping to really be able to elevate those assets and show them that this is the right place," Toth said.

The Boeing spokesperson said if the company decides to go forward with an airplane in that space, they believe it would enter service in the middle of the next decade. Boeing has not begun looking at sites and have not said when they will begin to do so.

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