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Day One: Prepping for London & Farnborough

This morning, a local delegation attending this year’s Farnborough Air Show had an opportunity to meet with their counterparts across the state and the Alabama Department of Commerce for an annual breakfast meeting to talk about goals and potential outcomes from this year’s show. Attended by Gov. Robert Bentley and Secretary Greg Canfield, more than 120 people from across the state are in London this week to participate in this bi-annual event. This number includes 15 people from Mobile representing the City of Mobile, Mobile Airport Authority, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Mobile County and the University of South Alabama.

The local delegation’s goals are straightforward, according to Troy Wayman, vice president of economic development for the Mobile Area Chamber. He says they focus on:

  1. Making introductions and holding meetings with potential new investors in Mobile.
  2. Meeting with corporate executives of existing companies with operations in Mobile.
  3. Visiting with Airbus executives about their continued investment in Mobile.
  4. Hosting an aerospace reception expected to be attended by nearly 200 top-level executives of existing industry and potential investors.

 

So What Is the Farnborough Air Show?

 

In a word – massive. It’s a sprawling city (see the map below) with exhibitors ranging from Airbus and Boeing to military powerhouses Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems. All of these and other aerospace suppliers are there, along with nearly every state in the U.S., plus other cities and countries around the globe all competing for lucrative aerospace business. The show’s website is amazing, and if you’re an aerospace junkie (like me), you can listen to podcasts, watch videos,  press conferences and more on the site. Go to www.farnborough.com for additional information.

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map of FAS

 

A couple fast facts about the last Farnborough Air Show in 2014:

* $204 billion in new aerospace orders were placed during FIA 2014

* 84 of the top 100 aerospace companies in the world participated in the show.

* 67% of exhibitors were located outside the UK

*287 companies who participated in 2014 were in the MRO (maintenance repair and operation) sector of aerospace

 

And the top 5 reasons exhibitors in 2014 said they attended the show:

  1. Generate new sales leads
  2. Promote their company
  3. Meet existing clients
  4. Industry networking
  5. Meeting other delegations

 

Check back to this blog later today, as I’ll be adding  some photos from today’s events, as well as a couple quick videos from some of the Mobile delegation with their thoughts on the next couple days efforts.