Press Releases

Birmingham Leaders Continue to Expand the City’s International Opportunities after Successful Trip to Germany

PRESS RELEASE                                                                           Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Contact: Brittany Sharp

Phone: 205-721-5369

brittany.sharp@birminghamal.gov

BIRMINGHAM, AL– The list of opportunities for the City of Birmingham is growing faster than ever, as city leaders continue to work to market the city on an international level. Birmingham Mayor William Bell, Birmingham City Council President, Johnathan Austin, Birmingham City Councilor, Steven Hoyt, and Birmingham Airport Authority CFO, Sylvester Lavender have wrapped up a week long trip to Bremen and Hamburg, Germany where they met with top decision makers from the aerospace industry to discuss key issues concerning the future development of their companies with other aerospace executives. The above Birmingham delegation joined a larger delegation led by the Alabama Department of Commerce and other local and regional municipalities to the Hamburg Aviation Forum.

“We gained an enormous amount of knowledge about the aerospace industry by meeting with so many of the top executives,” President Austin said. “Using that knowledge we will be looking at ways that Birmingham can better serve those companies, with the hopes of creating more jobs in our city.”

The meetings with aerospace executives included Airbus procurement representatives, a wide spectrum of top decision makers from aerospace OEMs, suppliers and airlines and top executives from other industries. During the daily meetings it was revealed that while there will not be a lot of parts suppliers locating in the US due to the low volume at the Alabama plant to warrant investment in US production facilities, there is a possibility that with the existing logistics, engineering, and medical industries that lie in Birmingham, the city should look to provide homes to Airbus engineering and automation companies as well as logistics companies.

“In Germany, there is a direct correlation between medical and aerospace production and certifications which should transfer to the US as well,” Kirk Atkinson, International Business Development and Project Manager for BLG Logistics said.

In addition to the meeting with executives from the aerospace industry, city leaders also met with executives at the Mercedes Benz plant in Bremen for an overview presentation and discussion on production between the Bremen and Alabama plants. During the discussion both groups identified additional opportunities to work together. Part of those additional opportunities depend on the expansion of flights between Bremen and Birmingham, which is why the Alabama delegation met with Bremen Airport executives regarding a potential direct flight. Airport executives gave a presentation on the infrastructure within and connections to-and-from the Bremen Airport, and Birmingham airport executives followed with a presentation on the newly renovated Birmingham Airport, its international flight infrastructure and potential customer data. Both sides agreed to immediately begin work on a direct flight by completing a list of action items that will include a follow up meeting in January.

Now that the Alabama delegation is back in Birmingham, work has already begun to ensure that the city capitalizes on the momentum from the trip abroad. The opportunities for Birmingham are endless and the progressive leadership that is in place plan to grab every opportunity that is available to ensure that our city continues to move forward.

To learn more about the trip to Germany, please click on the below link to see a video produced by the Birmingham City Council Public Information Office: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFBPLfMPfm8&list=PLTUiRK4lS9QzEOl8QVG6sAvt1t5ArUT6f

For more information please contact Birmingham City Council Director of Public Information Brittany Sharp at 205-721-5369 or brittany.sharp@birminghamal.gov.