PARIS, France, August 2, 2023—Terry Ryan, Aerospace Economic Development Director for Snohomish County, returned from the Paris Air Show last month where he joined a team of Snohomish County delegates set on forming connections, strengthening relationships, and supporting the many Snohomish County-based aerospace companies who were featured.
The Paris Air Show, which took place June 19 through June 25, is the largest international air show in the world featuring 2,498 exhibitors, 300 start-ups, 293,000 visitors, and 1,850 journalists. The show is also a great opportunity for businesses with $150 billion in contracts signed this year alone.
Joining Ryan was Garry Clark, President and CEO of Economic Alliance Snohomish County, County Councilman Sam Low, Wendy Poischeg, Vice President of Economic Development for the Snohomish County Economic Alliance, Dan Eernisse, Director of Economic Development for the City of Everett, State Representative and Communications Manager for the City of Everett Julio Cortes, and Washington State Governor Jay Inslee.
“In Paris, Washington once again showed the global aviation and aerospace industry why we are one of the best places in the world to do business,” Jay Inslee told the Lynnwood Times. “We have long been a leader in aerospace and aviation. The industry’s future is being built here, driven by innovation, sustainability, clean transportation, and new ideas that continue to transform our world.”
At the Paris Air Show, Governor Jay Inslee announced that Twelve, a California-based clean energy startup company, will be opening an industrial facility to make jet fuel in Moses Lake and ZeroAvia, which specializes in Hydrogen-electric engines, will be expanding at Paine Field in Everett.
At Paine Field approximately 120 acres of its, roughly 1,200 acres of land is undeveloped, so it was Ryan’s objective to get the word out that expansion, or relocation, opportunities exist there. Doing so would bolster jobs in the region as well as add to its, already, impressive $60 billion in generated economic activity, Ryan said.
“It’s a very exciting show, it’s a working show,” Ryan told the Lynnwood Times. “It’s a whirlwind trip but it’s very valuable.”
Between back-to-back meetings, Ryan toured the exhibition hall to learn more about the latest innovations in aerospace technology. While he said it’s too difficult to choose just one of company worthy of note, he shared that the research in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) was particularly impressive.
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) June 22, 2023
Back in March the Snohomish County announced the world’s first-ever Sustainable Aviation Fuel Research and Development Center to be built at Paine Field. Nearby companies such as MagniX are set on electrifying airplane engines and pursuing other greener ways of powering commercial aircrafts. MagniX was just one of the many Snohomish County companies who were featured at last month’s event. Others include Eviation, ZeroAvia, and Crane Aerospace & Electronics in Lynnwood just to name a few.
Outside of the Paris Air Show, Ryan didn’t make any time for sight-seeing, adding he’s an “all business guy” and likes to focus on business while on trips like these. Even when the air show ended, he returned to his hotel room to prepare for his next day of meetings scheduled.
“All of the suppliers are there to sell their stuff, so when they’re meeting with us that just shrinks their face time with their customers. So, I want to make sure we had really efficient meetings to respect their time,” said Ryan. “We do that by preparing.”
On Thursday, Ryan did leave the Paris–Le Bourget Airport where the air show took place, to travel to Nantes where a French aerospace business cluster exists. It was here where he toured an R&D Center that included IRT Jules Verne the company leading the Zebra Project (Zero wastE Blade ReseArch) which developed the first 100% recyclable wind turbine blades. He also toured Safran, a French multinational company that designs, develops and manufactures aircraft engines and rocket engines.
The trip was organized by the Washington State Department of Commerce, who set up the agenda and blocked off hotel rooms, but the booking ultimately fell upon the individuals. The county picked up the tab for Ryan’s airfare, hotel, meals, and train from Paris to Nantes.
“We have a great working relationship with the Department of Commerce; they generate the leads, they’re good people, we have a great relationship and it bodes well for us,” said Ryan.
As Snohomish County’s Aerospace Economic Development Director, Ryan oversaw Paine Field’s recently released Master Plan which assesses and directs airport improvements for the next 20 years.
The facility requirements laid out in the current Master Plan draft include expansion of deicing positions, expanding General Aviation (GA) facilities as the number of based aircrafts increase from 563 to 654, improving segments of 100th Street Southwest and Airport Road. Airport Support facilities, including Administrative and Maintenance, are also exploring new facilities but the new sites should be sufficient through the planning period, the plan states.
“The future of Paine Field looks great, we’re constantly working on asking our current companies what their growth plans are to see what kind of facilities they need,” said Ryan. “We’re going to make everyone proud; we have a great plan, and the future looks good.”