Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Commerce Secretary Pat George concluded last week a two-day trip to the 2013 International Paris Air Show to promote the Kansas aviation industry and more investment in the state by aviation-related companies. Brownback and George met with several companies during the visit.
“Kansas is one of the best places in the world for aviation manufacturing, research and testing,” Brownback said. “We have greatly improved the business and tax climate in the state. Our aviation workers are well trained. I wanted each company we met with at the Paris Air Show to know that Kansas is open for business and ready to partner with them.”
Brownback met with leaders at several companies and organizations, including Airbus, ASTech, B/E Aerospace, Beechcraft, Boeing, Bremen Group, LMI Aerostructures, Selex ES, Spirit AeroSystems and UTC Aircraft Systems, in addition to other companies.
Brownback also hosted a reception and made remarks at the Kansas Pavilion on June 18 on the grounds of the air show. Six companies were exhibiting at the pavilion, including CE Machine, Exacta Aerospace, Aerobind, Apex Engineering International LLC, Metal Finishing and HM Dunn Aerospace, all located in Wichita. The governor addressed more than 50 people attending the reception. The Kansas Department of Commerce and Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC) partnered on the pavilion with support from a U.S. Small Business Administration State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant.
“The competition is fierce,” said Tim Chase, president of the GWEDC. “Twenty-four states exhibited at the Paris Air Show and even more attended without having an official presence. With all the expansion taking place in the Southeast United States over the last several years, Governor Brownback’s presence was vital to demonstrating that Kansas is serious about growing our aerospace industry. His active participation reinforced the message that our state offers the infrastructure, generations of expertise, positive business climate, and world-class supply chain necessary for aerospace to thrive in this global marketplace.”
“These trips to the big aviation shows – Paris and Farnborough in 2012 – are very important to the state,” George said. “Kansas is competing against the world for the investment of these companies, as well as the jobs and economic activity they create. With Governor Brownback and myself leading the delegation, we can meet with CEOs and other senior decision makers with these companies, which will lead to more economic activity and job growth over the next 12 months. We packed a lot of activity and meetings into the short time we were in Paris.”
The Paris Air Show started on June 17 and concluded on June 23.