Wednesday, June 10, 2015
OKLAHOMA CITY— Governor Mary Fallin and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce’s foreign direct investment team announced today that Fallin will lead an Oklahoma delegation to the upcoming Paris Air Show from June 15-20, 2015. Delegations from 11 U.S. states will be present at the air show along with eight U.S. governors. Governor Fallin’s travel will be paid for in full by the Oklahoma Business Roundtable, a private organization that supports economic development.
Secretary of Commerce and Tourism Deby Snodgrass and Secretary of Science and Technology Stephen McKeever will join Fallin at the aerospace show.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase Oklahoma as a top destination for the global aerospace industry,” said Gov. Fallin. “We believe Oklahoma’s business climate, strong economy, educated workforce and high quality of life make it an obvious choice for both commercial and military aerospace companies considering expansion into North America.”
The Paris Air Show, along with the Farnborough International Airshow, which take place every other year, are the largest and longest-running aerospace trade shows in the world and are at the very heart of business developments in the global aerospace market, attracting over 150,000 aerospace executives and companies.
Secretary McKeever said the governor’s presence helps to elevate the Oklahoma delegation and ensure high level meetings with executives.
“These shows are where decision makers meet. They represent the best opportunity for Oklahoma to showcase its aerospace industry and attract investments back to the state,” said McKeever.
Previous trips to the Paris Air Show and Farnborough International Airshow have led to job and investment announcements from companies such as Belgium-based ASCO Aerospace, located in Stillwater, Okla., Australian-based Ferra Engineering, located in Grove, Okla., Swiss-based Oerlikon Balzers, located in Oklahoma City, and others. During the 2013 Paris Air Show, Oklahoma companies reported securing approximately $100,000 in immediate sales and $29.5 million in future sales.
Oklahoma’s infrastructure and policies help make the state a global center of excellence in aerospace. Aerospace and Defense is one of Oklahoma’s five major ecosystems, employing more than 120,000 workers with a strong emphasis on Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO), Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and Components Manufacturing.
Oklahoma is home to the largest military MRO center in the world at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, which is the Sustainment Center HQ for the U.S. Air Force, employing over 26,000 people. Tulsa, Okla., is home to American Airlines’ MRO center, the largest commercial MRO operation in the world, employing over 6,000 aerospace workers. Because of these facilities, Oklahoma is considered one of the seven main centers in the world for MRO.
Oklahoma has also become a major center in the United States for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), both for commercial and military applications. Oklahoma holds the only site dedicated solely to the application of UAS for public safety. The state also had the first university graduate program in UAS engineering at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater and provides support for UAS operations for Department of Defense programs in restricted airspace. Expertise in all segments of UAS can be found in Oklahoma: air vehicles; sensors; payloads; avionics/electronics; advanced materials; ground stations for command, control and communications; etc.
Following the Paris Air Show, Gov. Fallin will continue on to Germany and Italy where she will lead a business recruitment mission to develop business opportunities with aerospace, energy and advanced manufacturing companies. The Governor will be meeting with several businesses that have expressed interested in investing in Oklahoma, with a potential of up to $1.6 billion in foreign direct investment.
“We’re targeting these companies because our industry assets and central location in North America make Oklahoma an extremely competitive investment destination,” said Gov. Fallin. “When looking at what sets Oklahoma apart from other locations, the differentiators are our state government’s willingness to work closely with the companies looking to invest, our low energy costs, a talented workforce and world-class industry-related R&D activity.”
Oklahoma is reaping the benefits of its international economic development efforts. In 2011, Boeing announced plans to relocate 550 jobs to Oklahoma City from Long Beach, Calif.; in 2012, they announced that an additional 1,000 jobs will be created to support the new U.S. Air Force Tanker aircraft; and in 2015 Boeing said 900 more jobs are on the way to Oklahoma. Umicore, a Belgian aerospace company, also opened a new manufacturing facility in Quapaw, Okla., in 2011 which created over 100 jobs. In 2012, Umicore announced plans to consolidate their global wafer manufacturing operations at the Oklahoma facility. Additionally, in 2013, Rolls Royce established an MRO center in Oklahoma City, creating 137 new jobs.
Oklahoma companies that will be part of the Paris Air Show delegation this year include: