Economic Alliance Snohomish County recap of the 2023 Paris Airshow

Economic Alliance Snohomish County recap of the 2023 Paris Airshow Main Photo

10 Aug 2023

News, Business

By Garry Clark, President & CEO, Economic Alliance Snohomish County – A delegation of economic development professionals representing Snohomish County recently traveled to Paris for the Paris Airshow, held June 21–24, 2023. This was the first Paris Airshow since the Covid-19 pandemic. Economic Alliance Snohomish County (EASC) was honored to serve as the lead for this trip, in collaboration with Snohomish County government, our municipalities, state delegates, and Department of Commerce team.

I traveled along with our Vice President of Economic Development Wendy Poischbeg to represent EASC. The Paris Airshow plays a crucial role in our organization’s strategic engagement and partnership initiatives within the aerospace industry.

Other members of the Snohomish County delegation included County Councilman and Representative Sam Low, Representative Julio Cortes, City of Everett Economic Development Director, Dan Eernissee, and Aerospace Economic Development Director Terry Ryan.

We had the privilege of conducting meetings with key industry players, including Senior Aerospace AMT, Valence Surface Technologies, Eviation, ZeroAvia, Crane Aerospace, Norsk Titanium, Leggett & Platt, Korea Aerospace Industries Assoc, Mitsubishi Aircraft, Safran America, magniX, MTorres America, Umbra Cuscinetti, Thales North America, Daher, PCC Aerostructures, Stack Metallurgical, Cotesa, and MT Aerospace.

These meetings spanned Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) discussions as well as relationship expansion and creation meetings. Our conversations touched upon a diverse range of topics such as market trends, business opportunities, production capabilities, non-Boeing business prospects, and workforce challenges faced by the industry.

This was my first trip to Paris and the Airshow, and what a magnificent FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) and Aerospace trip, it turned out to be, for EASC, Snohomish County, and the State of Washington. 

What I recall most is touching down in Paris, at the Charles De Gaulle Airport, feeling jet-legged first, then, quickly shifting to the journey through customs channels of the airport. It isn't until you collect your baggage and step outside, that you realize, "Hey that French elective course would have made since back in high school and college, as the Uber driver addresses me with a “Bonjour!" 

As the Airshow began, our Washington State Delegation traveled a full hour or more to the Aeroport Paris Le Bourget - Airshow space. We hopped off the tourist bus and walked a small hike to the entrance, our Washington State energy palpable, our focus locking in, our jet-leg, a mere memory. Most of the delegation enjoyed the morning essence of baguettes and croissants, accompanied by espressos and more. The temperature was rising but the excitement of the show; the Washington State Booth the amazing buzz in the Airport, unmatched by any other economic development show I’ve ever attended in my 16-year career.

We saw hydrogen powered planes being displayed and showcased by Beyond Aero. We participated with Governor Inslee and Department of Commerce, Director, Mike Fong, in the signing of a grant award for ZeroAvia who currently houses its research center at Seattle Paine Field Airport in Snohomish County. We found that the City of Everett was well known and on the lips of many of the Aerospace companies we had the pleasure to connect with. We saw Safran Aircraft Engines’ who have a facilitate in Everett, highlight the fact that it’s CFM Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engines (RISE) program has been advancing rapidly over the last few years and announced at Paris that the prototype engines have now performed some 400 ground tests and are achieving at least 20% lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions compared with the most efficient engines available today.

We were able to connect with many of our local companies from Snohomish County and Everett. Most notably our very own EASC Board of Trustees investor, Eduardo Torres of MTorres, Mr. Torres gave us an amazing presentation coupled with a healthy discussion about the push for a fully electric flying car. All of this to say that in the heat of Paris, we found our collaboration, our history in Aerospace with Boeing and many other companies on full display. The Washington Delegation and Booth received the Best in Show award at the Airshow for its tremendous booth, engagement, and connection to the attendees.

In the end, our local powerhouse, The Boeing Company finished the show with orders and commitments for over 350 aircraft. This year’s show was a tremendous boost in diversification, energy advancement, and futuristic growth. Boeing said that 787 family is selling at the highest rate in its history, receiving more than 250 orders and commitments in the past six months. At this point, it is still clear that the future is bright in Aerospace.

All in all, the Paris experience was tremendous, it wasn’t simply the romanticism of Paris, the Eiffel tower, the cruises on the Siene, the visit to beautiful Nantes, for many of our delegation, nor the French Monarch’s images that reminded me of the 1980’s rich, Rick James hairstyles, it was the high-flying aircraft that pierced the skies and the sound barriers as exhibits were fully on display. We found ourselves at home in Paris, contemplating the numerous global connections to Everett’s aerospace cluster.

EASC is thankful for the delegation who joined this year and eager to plan for an even bigger impact at the next Paris Air Show. We thank you all for your investment in our efforts and look to follow up with many of our leads this year to help attract and retain our aerospace and advanced manufacturing businesses in the City of Everett and all of Snohomish County.

Opportunity lives here. Bonjour!