Kansas Governor Sam Brownback attended the Farnborough Air Show in Farnborough, England on Monday and Tuesday to highlight the improved business climate in Kansas as well as the numerous initiatives available to train aerospace workers and attract aerospace companies to the state. Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George and representatives from the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC) and several Kansas-based businesses active in aviation attended the air show with the Governor.
"The aerospace industry is a highly competitive global market. The Farnborugh Air Show gives us a great opportunity to share with industry leaders from around the world face to face why Kansas should be at the top of their list for investment and expansion," Governor Brownback said. "Kansas has great resources to meet the needs of aerospace companies. Doing business in Kansas just makes sense."
The Farnborough Air Show is the largest international aviation industry gathering in the world.
"Kansas has to compete with and for companies from all over the world. Farnborough gives us a great opportunity to cost-effectively pitch the Kansas advantages to hundreds of aviation leaders we otherwise would never meet," Secretary George said.
Governor Brownback addressed about 200 aerospace industry leaders at the Aerospace Industries Association dinner prior to the beginning of the Air Show on Sunday night about the importance of building relationships.
"People come from around the world to Farnborough to make good contacts and to help their businesses grow. But I urge all of you to focus not only on the dollars and cents, but also the relationships that you can build with people. In business, relationships are the most valuable asset," Governor Brownback advised the industry leaders.
The Farnborough Air Show began in earnest on Monday morning, with a ribbon cutting featuring U.S. Senators and Governors from eight different states.
The Kansas Department of Commerce and the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition co-hosted the Kansas Pavilion, which featured data on aerospace manufacturing and information on investment opportunities in Kansas. The Kansas Pavilion featured Global Parts.aero, Exacta Aerospace, Valent Aerostructures, Harlow Aerostructures, Metal Finishing, and CE Machine. Governor Brownback toured Hawker Beechcraft's static aircraft display, and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
"Farnborough Air Show gives us another opportunity to highlight Wichita's aerospace excellence in a global marketplace by supporting the Kansas companies who are on display and opening up the door to new investment in our community," GWEDC Interim President Susie Ahlstrand said.
The Kansas delegation and the GWEDC held a meet-and-greet reception to celebrate the Kansas aviation industry.
During the course of the Air Show, Governor Brownback met with representatives from Bombardier, Triumph Aerospace, GE Aviation, Goodrich, GKN Aerospace, Spirit Aerosystems, Airbus and others.