Opelika mayor expects aerospace and aviation industries to visit soon following Paris Air Show

Representatives from Auburn and Opelika met with top executives and key decision makers in the aerospace and aviation industries recently at the Paris Air Show.

The event, which is held every two years at Paris’ Le Bourget Airport, attracts thousands of people to view exhibits from companies that include Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, GE Aviation, Pratt Whitney and Rolls Royce. More than 350,000 people attended when the event was last held in 2015.

Opelika had several appointments with companies that are considering the possibility of locating a facility in the United States, according to Mayor Gary Fuller. He said he expects some of those companies to visit Opelika in the coming months.

“The State of Alabama has an excellent reputation with many successful aerospace and aviation that have a plant in our state,” Fuller said. “We’re working very hard, and so are our friends in Auburn, to attract these companies to our community.”

Fuller and Opelika Economic Development Director Lori Huguley represented their city at this year’s show, held in late June. This was Opelika’s third visit.

Representatives from the city of Auburn and Auburn University attended the show for the fourth time to recruit companies to come to their city.

“We attend these shows when we have specific projects that we are targeting,” said Phillip Dunlap, economic development director for the city of Auburn. “Since our involvement in targeting aerospace companies we have successfully recruited three companies who are involved in this industry segment. A typical project may take 1-2 years to bring to fruition.”

An announcement was made at this year’s show by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and Winkelmann Group CEO Heinrich Winkelmann that the company, a German-based manufacturer serving the aerospace industry and others, will begin production at its first United States production facility in the Auburn Industrial Park. The new location will be called Winkelmann Flowform Technology LP.

The company plans to invest $12 million to establish the metal-forming plant and expects to create approximately 50 jobs over the next five years, according to a city of Auburn release.