EADS executive praises Alabama leaders

The North America CEO for EADS, the company fighting to win a $35-billion Air Force tanker contract, visited Montgomery. WSFA 12 News Anchor Bob Howell talked with Sean O'Keefe to find out more about the status of the bidding on the project.

If EADS wins the contract, the tanker jets used for re-fueling in midair would be assembled in Mobile. EADS and Boeing have until July 9th to submit their bids to the Pentagon. If EADS is awarded the contract,  it would mean thousands of construction jobs in Alabama...and later high paying positions assembling the jets.

O'Keefe said Alabama's Congressional delegation and state leaders are doing their part to help.  He said, "The leadership of this state including Governor Riley and  the congressional delegation have done a very, very impressive job of raising the public debate, and insuring that this is an open and fair competition."

O'Keefe continued, "We are not asking for any favors. We just want to compete fairly."

The Department of Defense has not set a date to award the contract.  The DOD wants the winning company to be ready to start work on November 12, 2010.

See Bob Howell's complete interview with O'Keefe in a Web Extra on wsfa.com.