New magazine gives loft to region’s aerospace manufacturers

Because each Boeing 737 has roughly 600,000 parts, and each Boeing 777 has about 3 million parts.

By Becky Kramer / The Spokesman-Review

For every Boeing or Airbus, there are thousands of small manufacturers making parts for commercial airplanes.

They build seats and tray tables, floor panels, ductwork and other components.

The Northwest is home to more than 2,000 such manufacturers, which make up a critical but behind-the-scenes part of the region’s economy. A new trade magazine, launched from Spokane Valley, will help promote their work to a national audience.

Northwest Aerospace News Magazine is the brainchild of Dean Cameron, who spent 27 years as a sales manager for a local aerospace manufacturer.

“We’re getting the word out about these key suppliers, who have been seasoned by having Boeing in their backyard,” said Cameron, the magazine’s publisher.

The first edition of the free magazine will be out in February, just in time for a big aerospace trade show in Lynnwood, Washington.

Over the next 20 years, about 40,000 new airplanes will be needed to keep pace with global demand for air travel. The value of those orders is projected at $5.9 trillion, according to industry estimates.

Aerospace suppliers are at the forefront of getting those planes built, Cameron said.

Each Boeing 737 has roughly 600,000 parts, and each Boeing 777 has about 3 million parts. Many of the parts of airplanes are made elsewhere and shipped to factories for the assembly.

Aerospace parts supply, however, is a challenging industry, Cameron said. Margins are thin, schedules are tight and penalties are stiff for late deliveries.

For Tier 1 suppliers, which sell directly to companies such as Boeing or Airbus, “penalties can be upwards of $1 million per day” for missing deadlines for deliveries, Cameron said. So, there’s a lot of pressure on the supply chain.

When Cameron worked in sales for Multifab Inc., a local aerospace manufacturer, he often networked with other companies. They shared tips about which facilities had capacity to take on new orders and where to find quality work in fields such as injection molding or metal finishing.

The magazine will feature that type of insider information through profiles on aerospace manufacturers throughout the Northwest.

“We’re excited about Dean’s approach and the reach he’s hoping to see the magazine achieve,” said Staci Nelson, the Inland Northwest Aerospace Consortium’s executive coordinator. “Hopefully, it’s something that will lead to a stronger aerospace industry in our region.”

The consortium, founded in 2006, represents a regional cluster of aerospace manufacturers and companies involved with airplane maintenance and repair.

More than 200 Eastern Washington companies make parts for commercial and military aircraft. Their work has an economic impact in the $500 million range, Nelson said.

The magazine will publish six times per year. In addition to company profiles, it will contain advertising and an article submitted by Boeing. Each edition will include a poster-size aircraft print, which Cameron hopes will encourage people to open the magazine’s package.

“I’ve received a lot of trade magazines over the years and they’ve never got out of the plastic” envelope, he said.

Cameron, 57, and his wife, Pam, who is the magazine’s bookkeeper, used a Small Business Administration loan and some of their savings to start the magazine. They spent a year researching the potential advertising revenue, which will support the free magazine, and putting together a team of writers and designers.

The couple aren’t new to magazine publishing. They also own Art Chowder, a regional magazine focused on visual, performing and culinary arts.

In the long run, Northwest Aerospace News Magazine’s success will depend on whether its articles generate leads and new business for companies, Cameron said.

“If it solicits a phone call and an opportunity to provide a price quotation for a service or a product, then we’ve done our job,” he said.

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

Striking Starbucks employees talk to a woman who wanted to use the drive-thru but was turned away due to the strike on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, on Broadway in Everett, Washington. Workers at the 37th and Broadway store spent their morning picketing because a fellow employee had been fired the previous day in what the workers believe is an act of union busting. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett Starbucks workers go on strike after employee fired

The employee and her fellow union members claim she was fired for supporting the union. Starbucks denies it.

Property values soar 32% in Snohomish County due to hot housing market

Assessed values are up all across the county since last year. The impact on tax bills won’t be known for a few months.

Port of Everett hosting annual open house after pandemic hiatus

Also, Rustic Cork Wine Bar plans to open a second shop at Fisherman’s Harbor — the latest addition to the port’s “wine walk.”

Holly Burkett-Pohland, the owner of Burkett’s Home & Gift, outside of her new store front on Friday, June 17, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
New Everett gift store debuts in former J. Matheson space

For years, Holly Burkett-Pohland wanted to expand a business founded by her mother in 1978.

A Kenmore Air Cessna 208 Caravan. (Kenmore Air) 20220613
Kenmore Air to start daily flights from Paine Field to San Juans

Service begins July 14. Flights to Friday Harbor and Orcas Island airports take about 25 minutes.

Seattle Space Needle sues coffee chain over use of logo

The logo for Local Coffee Spot features a mug of hot coffee whose rising steam bears striking resemblance to the iconic tower.

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
Foes of state’s capital gains tax drop plans for initiative

I-1929 sponsors say they are confident a lawsuit challenging the legality of the tax will be successful.

Smoother sailing: Arlington airport gets grant to fix runway

A $2.3 million federal grant will pave the way for a project to resurface the airfield’s main runway.

Workers build the first all electric plane, the Eviation Alice, on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021 in Arlington, Washington.  The plane is designed for regional travel and to carry nine passengers. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Eviation moves tests of electric passenger plane to Moses Lake

The Arlington company said a bigger runway and flatter terrain are better suited to early testing of the commuter aircraft.

An artist's rendering of the new Funko warehouse in Buckeye, Arizona. (Funko) 20220407
Funko warehouse layoffs begin this week in Everett, Puyallup

The layoffs, announced in April, are part of a plan to move distribution operations to Arizona.

Rendering of the front entrance of Spruce Elementary School in Lynnwood. (Edmonds School District)
Police: Edmonds schools sent $2.7 million check to fraudster

Police say the fraudster posed as a contractor for a new elementary school. A bank caught it at the last second.

Looking north, an aerial view of Paine Field in Everett. (Paine Field / Snohomish County) 20220605
Paine Field development plan envisions an expanded terminal

Once Sea-Tac Airport reaches capacity, the Everett airport is on the short list to absorb unmet demand by passengers.