Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert, along with key officials from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, attended the Paris Air Show, the last stop on Governor Herbert’s European trade mission.
“Our message about Utah’s vibrant aerospace industry was well-received at the Paris Air Show,” Governor Herbert said. “We contribute in composite fiber manufacturing and corporate aircraft construction—including contributions to the largest commercial aircraft on the market. Utah is recognized worldwide for filling a critical part of the aerospace industry, and we want to grow in this exciting field.”
The International Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, France is the largest and longest-running aerospace trade show in the world. Running every other year, 2015 marks the 51st show. With more than 2,000 exhibitors from 44 countries, 139,000 professional visitors, 3,100 international journalists and 285 official delegations from 102 countries, the show is a key point in the global aerospace industry’s economic cycle. It is an essential event for meeting aviation and space industry professionals, discovering the latest innovations and showcasing Utah’s aerospace companies and suppliers.
Representatives have previously attended the event, but this is the first year that Utah has attended as an official booth exhibitor. The state supported multiple companies with their own exhibit space and hosted three Utah companies, SyberJet, Kaddas Enterprises and IMSAR, in the state booth.
Governor Herbert and trade mission delegates spent the day promoting job growth and investment in the state’s growing aerospace sector, which currently includes 105 companies and employs more than 21,000 workers. Governor Herbert met with several key aerospace leaders—many with Utah ties—including Boeing CEO Jim McNerney and representatives from Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK and Harris (formerly known as Exelis).
Governor Herbert also met with Nick Stanage, president and CEO of Hexcel, a world leader in carbon fiber and composite material production. According to Stanage, more and more planes are being made from composite materials. The Airbus A-350, for example, is 53 percent composite, and much of that is produced in West Valley City, Utah. Stanage called the Utah location a “world-class facility” and stated that they expect to continue to grow in the state.
“The Paris Air Show provides the largest international audience for Utah’s aerospace industry,” said Jeff Edwards, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. “It provides a global stage for our business and government leaders to promote Utah as a premier global business destination for aerospace and aviation.”
At Utah’s exhibition booth the governor visited with the Utah company leaders and underscored Utah’s continued commitment to aerospace-related education and workforce training programs. This fall the college of engineering at Utah State University will offer a new Ph.D. program in aerospace engineering, and a consortium of six Utah aerospace companies are joining with the state public education system and applied technology colleges to launch a new aerospace education program that will be formally announced later this summer.
In addition to aerospace promotion, the delegation seized the opportunity of being in France to meet with executives from international companies such as BioMérieux, a French in vitro diagnostics company that recently acquired Utah’s BioFire, an infectious disease diagnostic company. The governor and company officials met to discuss expanded partnership and investment opportunities in the state.