ROCKFORD, July 17 — More than a dozen aerospace organizations and companies promoted the strength of the Rockford Region’s aerospace supply chain and pursued significant potential investments June 15-21 at the 51st International Paris Air Show.
Six local companies attended with the assistance of Illinois’ State Trade and Export Promotion (ISTEP) program:
The Paris Air Show alternates annually with the Farnborough International Airshow (England) as one of the world’s premier aerospace trade exhibitions. More than 2,300 exhibitors from 48 countries were represented in 2015, with 150,000 professionals in attendance.
“The Paris Air Show provides companies like Midwest Aero Support with access to operators and aerospace companies from around the globe,” said Brian Hermann, who handles business development for the Machesney Park company. “The show provides the opportunity to have discussions with those companies about partnering to solve their repair or manufacturing needs. It also provides an economical way to meet with multiple international clients and partners at one time.”
Goals at the air show are to promote the Rockford Region’s exports and to attract additional aerospace companies to open facilities here. The show offers significant networking opportunities.
Greg Crowley, director of business development for Ingenium Technologies of Rockford, met with both foreign (Israel, Japan and Canada) and U.S. customers and potential customers. “It was nice to reconnect to foreign customers in one stop,” Crowley said.
“This was a wonderful opportunity for us to meet and talk with some of the leading avionics companies in the world,” added Anaya Vardya, CEO of American Standard Circuits in West Chicago.
Participation in the International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget is vital to the economic development of the Rockford Region, home to four Tier One aerospace companies and part of a broader cluster of more than 250 companies in the aerospace supply chain of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. This critical mass is strengthened by the region’s strong manufacturing skills, engineering expertise and high productivity.
“The concentration of international aerospace companies, talented workforce and easy access to global markets makes Rockford a world-class competitor in the aerospace industry,” Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jim Schultz said. “The ISTEP program helps businesses grow internationally, providing opportunities to connect with foreign markets and show the world what Illinois has to offer, and we are proud to support the Rockford Region’s participation in the Paris Air Show. Group Trade Missions are an important part of DCEO’s efforts to promote economic growth and bring business back to Illinois.”
The Rockford Area Economic Development Council also attended as part of the state of Illinois delegation on behalf of the Rockford Area Aerospace Network (RAAN), a consortium of companies working to increase the competitiveness of the Rockford Region for aerospace expansion and attraction.
The following companies represented the region in their own booths: AAR Corp., B/E Aerospace, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Esterline, GE Aviation, UTC Aerospace Systems and Woodward.