The newly renamed Mobile International Airport welcomed its first international flight this week — a shuttle between Airbus plants in Mobile and in Mirabel, Canada.
The aircraft maker — a key industrial tenant at the Mobile airport facility — is ramping up production of its A220 line in Mobile. It instituted the weekly shuttle to transport employees back and forth between the two plants.
Airport officials say the flight “demonstrates the benefits of having an international facility located near downtown Mobile.”
“Several months ago, the Federal Aviation Administration approved our name change from Mobile Downtown to Mobile International Airport,” said Chris Curry, president of the Mobile Airport Authority. “Our vision at the time was to accommodate international commercial service and general aviation.
“I am proud to see that the other benefactor is one of our major stakeholders, Airbus,” Curry added. “We are thankful for a great working relationship with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to make this happen.”
The airport is in the process of moving all commercial air service from the Mobile Regional Airport, at the far west side of the city, to the Mobile International Airport close to downtown and the Port of Mobile. Formerly called the Mobile Downtown Airport, the one-time military base is now also home to the city’s cluster of aviation companies, including Airbus, VT Mobile Aerospace Engineering, Continental Aerospace Technologies, Safran and Technify Motor (USA).