Fasten your seat belts and put your trays in the upright position for this episode of the Real Deal. We explore the ups and downs of the Farnborough International Airshow which is frequently attended by a joint delegation that includes members of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Baldwin County officials, and select city government representatives. Criticized in some circles over the past decade as an annual high-dollar overseas junket and pseudo-vacation spent on the taxpayer dime, we sat down with Troy Wayman, vice president of economic development for the Mobile Chamber of Commerce and George Talbot, director of communications for the city of Mobile, to find out what was accomplished from the latest excursion above and beyond what detractors cite as perfunctory hand-shaking.

Regardless of debate, regional return on investment (ROI) has undeniably manifested so far with Airbus SAS establishing its first and only North American manufacturing beachhead within Mobile’s very own historic Brookley Aeroplex. Plus, the related line-of-business suppliers trickling in from all over the world also seem to further back up extensively hyped “Halo Effect” growth from what’s been called a generational game changer for the area.

Read Lagniappes Farnborough Airshow coverage.

In the Rumor Mill segment, Ron and Johnny discuss the possibility of a casino opening up in downtown Mobile. Reveal the well-known local eateries and retailers that, surprisingly, may not be around next year. And lastly, questioning why some national brands seem to fail miserably while others thrive locally and whether or not the downtown restaurant scene has become oversaturated.

In this “highflying” episode we examine:

• Reasoning behind attending an expensive overseas business trip to London on the taxpayer dollar
• Recap of the highlights of the 3-day trip to the Farnborough International Airshow and an event that nearly derailed the delegations agenda immediately after arrival
• Why the Alabama delegation was the largest in all 50 states in attendance at the trade show.
• A remarkable fact brought up by George Talbot about the manufacturing footprint in the state of Alabama
• Origins behind the “Made in Alabama” brand logo rolled out recently by the Alabama Department of Commerce and how Mobile is capitalizing on its popularity
• Why Mobile was selected as a “City of the Future” by a prominent London financial magazine’s prominent Editor-in-Chief with Alabama ties
• Evidence indicating that Mobile has the oldest and fastest growing web of international business connections when compared to other metro areas statewide
• Future predictions about new or expanding industries coming to the area and the types of jobs they will create

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The Real Deal podcast is produced in cooperation with Deep Fried Studios.