Continuing his focus on job creation and promoting Florida as a leader in the aviation and aerospace industry, Governor Rick Scott wrapped up a four-day business development mission today to the United Kingdom and the Farnborough International Airshow, one of the world's largest exhibitions featuring the aerospace, defense and space sectors. As chief executive of the state, Governor Scott met with business leaders of more than 40 aviation and aerospace companies over 72 hours to discuss Florida's competitive business advantages.
With the Florida pavilion being the largest at the show, Governor Scott highlighted Florida's top-rated workforce, world-class infrastructure, global access through 19 commercial airports, and business-friendly economic climate as benefits to companies expanding in Florida. Florida is the No. 2 state in the U.S. for aviation, aerospace and space operations, with more than 2,000 companies and 83,000 employees.
Joining Governor Scott were eight Florida-based companies and two regional economic development groups that showcased their products and their communities at the airshow. Twenty states were also represented at the air show, including eight other governors. Florida also joined the four-state Aerospace Alliance to highlight the U.S. Southeast region as a world-class aerospace and aviation corridor and encourage companies to take advantage of opportunities available in the region.
"Florida is clearly a national leader in aviation and aerospace, and in order to be competitive, we must remain focused on long-term results and growing this thriving industry in our state," Governor Scott said. "At Farnborough, we laid the groundwork for building the relationships necessary for the future expansion of this industry that is so critical to Florida's economy and job creation."
Florida's aviation and aerospace workforce includes thousands of active duty military personnel and veterans, as well as engineers and scientists. In addition, Florida's universities are a key component to ensuring the continued success of the industry through efforts to increase the number of degrees earned in science, technology, engineering and math. John Johnson, president and CEO of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, and several leaders from the school also participated in the mission to highlight Florida's higher education institutions that specialize in the field.
Governor Scott also met with British Prime Minister David Cameron and two members of British Parliament. "I was proud to invite the Prime Minister and the members of Parliament to Florida to see all that we are doing to create jobs and make Florida the No. 1 place for business," Governor Scott said.
Governor Scott also addressed several prestigious business groups in London, including British-American Business Inc. and The D Group, a business development network of high-level companies, to highlight Florida's competitive business advantages. At a luncheon hosted by VISIT FLORIDA, he thanked British tour operators and tourism professionals for facilitating travel to Florida.