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San Antonio In Running For Boeing 777X Airliner Manufacturing Contract

777X promotional images found at http://www.newairplane.com/777x/

San Antonio is being talked about as one of the cities competing to win the Boeing 777X airliner manufacturing contract, but local officials aren’t talking.

In Washington state, the union rejected Boeing’s contract over health care and pension demands, so Boeing is looking for alternative cities to bring the 777X.

About 15 locations, along with their home states, are coming up with lush billion-dollar incentive packages.

Boeing’s deadline for the package is Tuesday.

City of San Antonio officials and Port San Antonio would not comment, or confirm, that they are working on a 777X proposal for Boeing.

But observers say the city would be negligent if it didn’t, seeing how it has in place many of the components that Boeing is looking for, including a long runway, enough land to build a 4.2 million sq. ft. factory -- which Boeing wants for free -- highway and rail line access, and a trained workforce.

Boeing is also going to want lots of tax breaks.

District 4 City Councilman Rey Saldaña said San Antonio does have the capacity to accommodate the 777X manufacturing.

"We are a city who are competing for our residents, [and we] have to take advantage of opportunities like that," Saldaña said. "If it means that our city is more competitive on regulation or cost of land or it's workforce, we'll use those to our advantage. This is an industry that pays a living wage to it's residents. It's proven that at the Port and if San Antonio sees an opportunity then we have no reason then to then go after it."

Whichever city wins the contract will attract thousands of high paying jobs. Boeing is expected to choose a site for the plant in early 2014.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi