Of all the jets ever produced by Boeing, the 737 is the top seller. It is now built in Renton.
The new version of the 737, the 737 MAX, was announced Aug. 30.
The jet already has commitments for 496 orders from five airlines, a response that Boeing Commercial Airplanes Co. President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Albaugh calls "overwhelming."
Deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2017, with 737 production rates for all models predicted to be as high as 60 planes per month.
On Sept. 15, state officials announced Project Pegasus, aimed at expanding aerospace training in the region and reducing regulatory manufacturing hurdles to encourage Boeing to build the new 737 MAX plant in Washington.
When the Boeing board of directors decided the 737 MAX might need to be built in a new factory, state officials launched early bids for locating the plant in Washington, perhaps even in Snohomish County.
County officials and real estate developers are already looking at a 1,000-acre site in north Marysville, south of the Arlington Municipal Airport, for the new 737 MAX plant.
Meanwhile, the Snohomish County Council passed a resolution to urge Boeing to build the 737 MAX at Paine Field, noting that 80 acres is available adjacent to the main runway.
Although 80 acres may prove to be too small for Boeing's needs, Paine Field has distinct advantages. The new plant would keep manufacturing close to engineers. A trained aerospace workforce is part of the region's tradition, including the presence of a new training facility recently opened at the airport. And the county already is one of the world's strongest aerospace hubs.
Boeing plans to pick a site for the 737 MAX production in the next six to eight months.
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