A Boeing 737 Max 9 during a demonstration flight at the Paris Air Show in 2017. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

A Boeing 737 Max 9 during a demonstration flight at the Paris Air Show in 2017. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

Biggest state delegation ever is in Paris for air show

More than 80 from Washington are attending. State and local public officials say it’s worth the expense.

EVERETT — The largest-ever Washington state delegation this week will attend the Paris Air Show, the world’s most prestigious aviation trade fair.

More than 80 attendees, including a Snohomish County delegation of elected officials, hope to drum up business for Washington’s aerospace industry. The aerospace sector here generates $70 billion in annual revenue and employs more than 135,000 workers at 1,400 companies, according to the state Department of Commerce.

Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib and Lisa Brown, director of the Washington Department of Commerce, will lead the delegation.

Famous for aircraft displays and demonstration flights, the trade show also showcases satellites, production methods and telecommunications. The event begins Monday and runs through Sunday.

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Aviation, will lead a separate House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee delegation.

It’s important for elected officials to attend the air show and let aerospace companies know that “elected officials are on their side,” said Robin Toth, head of the governor’s Office of Aerospace. “For example, they can assist with properties and streamline the permitting process.”

Snohomish County, home to Boeing’s main wide-body aircraft assembly plant and 40,000 aerospace jobs, will be well represented.

Snohomish County Councilman Terry Ryan, Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin and Paine Field airport director Arif Ghouse will join the trade mission for all or part of the air show.

“Since aerospace is the most important industry in Snohomish County, the county is represented at the major international air shows each year. … Snohomish County is paying for (County Council) chair Ryan’s trip and Paine Field is paying for Arif’s,” county spokesman Kent Patton said in an email.

Said Ryan: “It’s important that we retain the business we have, encourage them to expand and also attract additional suppliers and aerospace businesses to the county.”

Everett Mayor Franklin said she expects to meet with dozens of aerospace firms at the Paris Air Show in an effort to support “our existing businesses and hopefully encourage new companies to locate here.”

Manufacturing makes up 20% of the county’s workforce — twice the state average, Franklin noted.

Last year, the manufacturing sector provided more than $17.2 million in sales tax and business-and-occupation tax revenue to the city of Everett, spokesman Julio Cortes said in an email.

Overall, Everett’s aerospace sector is a significant source of city revenue. Everett is covering the costs related to the air show for Franklin and Dan Eernissee, the city economic development director, Cortes said. “They are using their own personal funds to cover the costs of any personal activities during their time in France,” Cortes said.

An illustration of the Washington state pavilion at the Paris Air Show. (nma.choosewashingtonstate.com)

An illustration of the Washington state pavilion at the Paris Air Show. (nma.choosewashingtonstate.com)

World showcase

In 2017, the air show, which is held every other year, drew delegations from 98 countries and more than 322,000 visitors. The first four days are usually reserved for business, with the final three days open to the public.

The state delegation has grown in recent years, from about 50 in 2015 to 63 in 2017.

This year’s delegation also includes a long list of private employers from around the state, including Everett-based Aviation Technical Services and SeaCast, based in Marysville. The local supply chain supports not only Boeing but foreign jet makers Airbus, Bombardier, Comac, Mitsubishi, Sukhoi and Embraer. (Boeing expects to acquire an 80% share of Embraer’s commercial aircraft division this year.)

Companies that were part of the state delegation to the 2015 Paris Air Show generated more than $125 million in business as a result, according to the state Commerce Department.

Lt. Gov. Habib will promote Washington business opportunities during a series of meetings with companies from around the world, including Mitsubishi, Boeing, Raytheon, Safran and Airbus. His travel and lodgings are paid by the lieutenant governor’s trade mission budget, said spokesman Mikhail Carpenter.

“We are looking forward to sharing the wealth of new opportunities we have here in Washington on the international stage,” Habib said in a statement.

Revised aero-economic report

The Washington delegation is bringing an updated version of the “Aerospace Competitive Economics Study,” which promoters of aerospace here use to demonstrate the state’s worth.

The 2018 report, a quantitative study based on numerical public and government data, ranked Washington state first for aerospace manufacturing, followed by Texas, Georgia, Arizona and Colorado.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers District 751 and the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace commissioned the Teal Group and Olympic Analytics to update the study for use by the unions and state government. Richard Aboulafia, a prominent aerospace analyst and vice president of the Teal Group of Fairfax, Virginia, prepared the report.

The 2019 update again ranks Washington above all other states, but there were changes in the rest of the top four. They are now Ohio, Utah, North Carolina and Arizona.

Last year’s report was intended to help convince Boeing to build its next passenger airplane model — the “new middle-market” airplane, hence NMA — in Washington. Choose Washington NMA, a coalition of elected officials, businesses and unions created by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, was anticipating a big reveal at the 2019 Paris Air Show.

But that was before two Boeing 737 Max crashes, just five months apart, in Indonesia and Ethiopia. In all, 346 people died. Boeing faces multiple government probes and a criminal investigation into the design and certification of the Max, which is built in Renton. The 737 Max has been grounded since mid-March and isn’t expected to resume service for months.

Many aviation analysts say it’s unlikely that Boeing will make an announcement about the major new middle-market aircraft, unofficially dubbed the 797, at the Paris Air Show.

A Boeing board of directors “authority to offer” is needed before the company can reveal a proposed new airplane and gauge airline demand. That authority had been expected in time for the Paris Air Show before the Max crashes, said Scott Hamilton, a Bainbridge Island-based aviation analyst. Now it isn’t expected until toward the end of the year, after the Max returns to service.

Choose Washington and others have shifted their focus from the 797 to broader promotion of the state’s aerospace sector.

Boeing’s attendance

After months of bad press coverage due to the 737 Max crisis, Boeing has modest plans for Paris. It will showcase “innovation, partnerships and safety” at this year’s air show, the company said in a statement.

An Air Tahiti Nui 787-9 “will demonstrate the breakthrough capabilities and innovations that have made the 787 a favorite. A 737 Boeing converted freighter and passenger air vehicle will be on static display,” Boeing said.

The U.S. Department of Defense also will display several Boeing aircraft, including the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, the CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopter, the F-15 fighter, the P-8 maritime patrol aircraft and the Everett-built KC-46 Pegasus tanker, the company said.

At a Washington, D.C., event last week, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said that “the U.S. aerospace sector has the largest trade surplus of any other American manufacturing industry, at $88 billion last year. And, of total U.S. aerospace production last year of $215 billion, a very large portion of that output — $150 billion — or 70% , was exported. We are the largest exporter of aerospace equipment in the world.”

Janice Podsada; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3097; Twitter: JanicePods.

Businesses joining Washington’s Paris delegation

• Aerostrat, Seattle

• Aviation Technical Services, Everett

• BRPH, Lynnwood

• General Plastics Manufacturing, Tacoma

• Industrial Machine Tool, Anacortes

• Pacific Tool, Redmond

• SeaCast, Marysville

• Silicon Forest Electronics, Vancouver, Washington

• Stack Metallurgical Group, Spokane Valley

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Dan Bates / The Herald
When Seattle Genetics founder, Clay Siegall lost his father while in college, he switched from studying for an MD to studying for a PhD., and a goal to treat cancer patients.  His efforts are paying off in lives.
Bothell biotech CEO resigns after domestic-violence allegation

Clay Siegall co-founded Seagen, which develops therapies for cancer patients. He’s accused of attacking his wife.

Epic Ford on the corner of 52nd Street and Evergreen Way in Everett is closed. The dealership has been in business for more than 50 years. (Janice Podsada / The Herald)
After 50 years, Everett’s Epic Ford dealership closes shop

It opened in 1971, when gas guzzling muscle cars like the Ford Mustang still ruled the road.

FILE - A sign at a Starbucks location in Havertown, Pa., is seen April 26, 2022. Starbucks says it will pay travel expenses for U.S. employees to access abortion or gender-confirmation procedures if those services aren't available within 100 miles of a worker’s home. The Seattle coffee chain says, Monday, May 16, 2022, the benefit will also be available to dependents of employees enrolled in its health care coverage. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, file)
Starbucks will cover travel for workers seeking abortions

Amazon and Tesla also will provide the benefit. Walmart and Facebook have stayed silent.

A barista pours steamed milk into a red paper cup while making an espresso drink at a Starbucks coffee shop in the Pike Place Market, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, in Seattle. It's as red as Santa's suit, a poinsettia blossom or a loud Christmas sweater. Yet Starbucks' minimalist new holiday coffee cup has set off complaints that the chain is making war on Christmas. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Interfaith group asks Starbucks to drop vegan milk surcharge

They say the practice amounts to a tax on people who have embraced plant-based lifestyles.

FILE - In this Monday, March 1, 2021 file photo, The first Alaska Airlines passenger flight on a Boeing 737-9 Max airplane takes off on a flight to San Diego from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. A Boeing pilot involved in testing the 737 Max jetliner was indicted Thursday, Oct. 14,2021 by a federal grand jury on charges of deceiving safety regulators who were evaluating the plane, which was later involved in two deadly crashes. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Alaska Airlines to keep canceling flights at high level for weeks

Flight cancellations since April will continue. The chaos has been damaging for Seattle’s hometown airline.

FILE - An airplane flies past the Boeing logo on the company's headquarters in Chicago, on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2001. Boeing Co., a leading defense contractor and one of the world's two dominant manufacturers of airline planes, is expected to move its headquarters from Chicago to the Washington, D.C., area, according to two people familiar with the matter. The decision could be announced as soon as later Thursday, May 5, 2022, according to one of the people. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Boeing expected to move headquarters from Chicago to DC area

The move would put Boeing executives close to their key customer, the Pentagon, and the FAA.

This 3D rendering shows Sila's 6000-foot facility in Moses Lake, to be used to manufacture lithium-ion anode battery materials. (Business Wire)
New factory in Moses Lake will bring hundreds of new jobs

The plant will manufacture lithium-ion anode battery materials for cars and cellphones.

Dr. David Kirtley at the new Helion headquarters, Antares, in Everett, Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022  (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Helion Energy: New Everett company has the sun in its eyes

The firm is the winner of a new award by Economic Alliance Snohomish County, called Opportunity Lives Here.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring is this year's winner of the Henry M. Jackson Award given by Economic Alliance Snohomish County. Photographed in Marysville, Washington on April 25, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Jon Nehring: Longtime Marysville mayor who’s nurtured growth

He’s helped steer the city’s transformation and is winner of the Jackson Award by Economic Alliance Snohomish County.

Monti Ackerman, recipient of the John Fluke Award, is pictured Thursday, April 28, 2022, outside his office in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Monti Ackerman: A passionate volunteer and calculator whiz

The Fortive executive is the winner of this year’s Fluke Award by Economic Alliance Snohomish County.

Rep. Mike Sells, D-38, is the recipient of this year's Henry M. Jackson award. The award recognizes a visionary leader who through partnership, tenacity and a strong commitment to community has created lasting opportunities to improve quality of life and positively impact the regional economy. Photographed in Everett, Washington on April 29, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Rep. Mike Sells: He fought for WSU Everett and worker rights

The retiring legislator is the recipient of the Floyd Award from Economic Alliance Snohomish County.

People sit outside the recently opened Amazon Go facility Wednesday, April 27, 2022, in Mill Creek, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Cashier-less Amazon Go buzzing in Mill Creek grand opening

Locals came to check out the high-tech store, with $3 avocado toast and cameras watching customers’ every move.