Farnborough, England – Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback attended the Farnborough International Air Show in Farnborough, England, on Monday and Tuesday to highlight the improved business climate in Kansas, as well as the numerous initiatives to train aerospace workers and attract aerospace companies to Kansas. Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George, and representatives from the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC) attended the show with Brownback.
“The aerospace industry is a highly competitive global market,” Brownback said. “The Farnborough 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. Kansas has great resources to meet the needs of aerospace companies. Doing business in Kansas just makes sense.”
Farnborough is among the largest international aviation industry gatherings in the world.
“Aerospace is a robust and dynamic industry,” George said. “Kansas has to compete with 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.”
Brownback addressed a crowd of approximately 200 aerospace industry leaders on July 8 at the Aerospace Industries Association dinner prior to the beginning of the show. He spoke to the group about the importance of building relationships:
“People come from around the world to Farnborough to make good contacts and to help their businesses grow,” Brownback said in his remarks. “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.”
Farnborough began in earnest on July 9, with a ribbon cutting featuring U.S. senators and governors from eight different states. The Kansas Department of Commerce and the GWEDC 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. Brownback toured Hawker Beechcraft’s static aircraft display and a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
“The Farnborough Air Show gives us another opportunity to highlight Wichita’s aerospace excellence in a global marketplace by supporting the Kansas companies that are on display and opening up the door to new investment in our community,” said Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition Interim President Susie Ahlstrand.
The Kansas delegation and the GWEDC held a meet-and-greet reception to celebrate the Kansas aviation industry.
During the air show, Brownback met with representatives from Bombardier, Triumph Aerospace, GE Aviation, Goodrich, GKN Aerospace, Spirit Aerosystems, Airbus and others.