Now that I’ve been back in the States for a week after my trip to the Paris Air Show, I’ve had a bit of time to reflect on my experience. My first impression about the show itself was in line with what I had heard – the grounds are massive, with the runway a full 2 mile walk from the exhibitor halls. No exaggeration – the Paris Air Show is huge! And VERY crowded, with 2,300 exhibitors from 48 countries and over 350,000 attendees.
The business side of the show met all of my expectations and more. Aero Gear was able to make several key contacts that will likely lead to new work in the future. While we typically do not leave the air shows with a contract in hand, what we do gain in terms of networking and customer contacts and discussions is invaluable. This year was no exception, and I am hopeful this will prove to be the most valuable air show for the company to date.
In addition, Gov. Dan Malloy was able to make the trip to Paris to meet with the Connecticut delegation, in addition to staff from the DECD and CCAT. This was the first time a Connecticut governor has attended one of the major air shows. I know there has been some discussion about if it is appropriate for the governor to attend the show given the current budget situation in the state. To that, I have two points. One, there are many, many other states, regions and nations that send dignitaries to support the companies from their areas. In fact, according the official web site of the show, 296 foreign delegations attended. Having the backing of the top official in the state sends a clear message to companies both in Connecticut and outside the state that we take the aerospace industry very seriously here and support our high tech aerospace companies and jobs. Two, the aerospace industry is big business in the state of Connecticut, and supports tens of thousands of high skilled, high paying jobs. Aero Gear deeply appreciates the support the state has given the industry in attending the major air shows for many years now. Below, Gov. Malloy visits the Aero Gear booth in Paris:
After a long week of hard work meeting the customers, suppliers, competitors and other industry participants, I was glad to make my way back to Connecticut. However, there was great satisfaction knowing that the Paris Air Show turned out to deliver everything I had hoped it would and more. I have returned excited and energized about Aero Gear’s prospects in the dynamic and high tech aerospace industry.