ATLANTA — Gov. Sonny Perdue is leading a delegation of Georgia community and business leaders on a business mission to the Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) in the United Kingdom to promote Georgia’s advantages for the aerospace industry.
“Georgia’s specialized training programs in aerospace are providing the state a deep pool of skilled workers in this industry,” Perdue said. “Our highly-skilled workforce is just one of Georgia’s strategic assets for this flourishing sector that we’ll showcase to the industry-leading companies who attend this event.”
During the air show and subsequent stops in Stockholm, Sweden and Dusseldorf, Germany through July 23, the governor will conduct business meetings with companies seeking opportunities for foreign direct investment in the U.S. He will also meet with companies such as Firth Rixon, Bombardier, Sony Ericsson and RWE to discuss their current operations in the state and explore opportunities for further investment and job creation. The 14 Georgia companies and communities attending the show are seeking business opportunities for growth in this sector.
Taking place in Farnborough, U.K. since 1948, the biennial International Airshow is the second largest aviation and aerospace event in the world. The most recent air show in 2008 was attended by more than 285,000 visitors, including 70 delegations from 38 countries. It was also a record-breaking year for business, with $88.7 billion in orders announced during the show.
Georgia companies participating in the show include Aerospace Missions Corporation, which is opening an advanced technology center in St. Marys; Jetcraft Avionics LLC, from Evans; and Nor-Ral, based in Canton. Other companies attending include Aventure Aviation, based in Peachtree City; Falcon Aviation Academy, headquartered in Newnan, and Precision Components International of Columbus.
Other delegates include representatives from the Augusta Economic Development Authority, Augusta Regional Airport, Brunswick-Glynn County Development Authority, Georgia Department of Economic Development, Glynn County Airport Commission, Houston County Development Authority, Macon-Bibb Economic Development Commission, Milledgeville-Baldwin County Economic Development Authority and the Valley Partnership.
The U.K. is one of Georgia’s leading trade partners in the aviation sector, with exports to the region totaling $442 million in 2009. Worldwide,
Georgia’s aviation exports totaled $3.4 billion last year. Georgia is ranked eighth in the U.S. for employment in the aviation industry, employing more than 80,000 people in 500 firms. Home to world-class companies like Delta Air Lines, Gulfstream Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Bombardier, Triumph and United Technologies, the state is a strategic location for new, innovative aerospace investment. According to economy.com, Georgia is also the most productive aerospace state in the U.S. when the high value of its products is compared to low production costs.
Georgia has a strong pipeline of workers for aerospace, due in part to FAA-certified degrees offered at its technical colleges and to the Georgia Institute of Technology’s graduate aerospace engineering program, ranked second in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Middle Georgia College’s Aviation campus in Eastman also offers four-year degrees in aerospace and aviation.
The Governor’s Office of Work Force Development has invested over $1 million to build the aerospace sector workforce supply chain, and Georgia
Quick Start, the state’s top-ranked workforce training program, provides specialized training to aerospace companies like Boeing and Cessna. In addition, Georgia’s Center of Innovation for Aerospace helps aerospace companies accelerate research and development and access the expertise and resources of the state’s world-class research institutions.
For more information about Georgia’s assets for aerospace, visit www.georgia.org.