Mobile-built Airbus set to take flight, Alabama begins work on beachfront hotel using BP money

Mar 18, 2016

The first Airbus produced by the company’s U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile is set to take the skies for the first time next week.

The Alabama-built A321 plane will take off from the Mobile Airport at 9:15 Monday morning barring any weather or other pre-flight test factors. The future JetBlue Airbus’s test flight is a normal step in aircraft production and takes place before the company gets the plane. 

Following the flight, the aircraft will go through a few more weeks of final delivery preparations.

Alabama is starting work on a new multimillion dollar hotel and conference center at Gulf State Park. APR’s Alex AuBuchon reports that’s despite a ruling from a federal judge preventing the state from using BP funds.

The state of Alabama is funding the new hotel project with money received from the BP oil spill settlement. But just last month, U.S. District Judge Charles Butler blocked the state from using BP funding to build the hotel.

Project director Cooper Shattuck says the work is now being funded using money from a different settlement between BP and the state.

The Gulf Restoration Network is an environmental group that originally sued over the project funding. They say the new source of money is disappointing, but legal.

The $85 million, 350-room hotel and conference center will replace a hotel that was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

Spring bird migration has begun on Dauphin Island. The season lasts between March and mid-May. 

Tropical birds that live in Central and South America use the island as their first stop in North America.  Dauphin island has a lot of insects for the birds to eat and fresh water to drink.

Ralph Havard is the president of Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuaries Incorporated. He says one of the most spectacular events of the migration season comes with bad weather.

“When we have what’s called a fall-out, that’s when a weather system comes through during the spring migration. And when someone sees a fall-out it’s like a decorated Christmas tree there can be so many colors of birds up there.”

The island has recorded up to three hundred and forty species of birds over its history.