The Farnborough International Airshow is one of the largest aviation events in the world. The show is estimated to attract more than 130,000 visitors, and will be attended by approximately 70 trade delegations from more than 40 different countries. An estimated $47 billion in business orders are expected to be announced during the event.
The companies exhibiting in the Oklahoma booth are SW United Industries (Tulsa), M&M Manufacturing(Tulsa), Enviro Systems (Seminole), Pro-Fab (OKC), Limco Airepair (Tulsa), Tulsair Beechcraft (Tulsa), and University Multispectral Laboratories (Ponca City-Edmond). In addition to the companies in the Oklahoma booth, there will be more than 50 companies with a presence in Oklahoma also exhibiting at the show.
During the show, in a breakfast sponsored by the Ardmore Development Authority, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, the Oklahoma Business Roundtable and the Tulsa Metro Chamber, Governor Fallin will address an audience of industry leaders including CEOs of major aerospace companies to highlight Oklahoma’s aerospace and defense industry as well as the growing Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) sector.
“I’m excited to share the Oklahoma Story with an international audience that includes leaders in the aerospace, defense and UAS industries,” Fallin says. “Oklahoma has resources and opportunities in these areas that no other state in the country has. It’s important for Oklahoma to have a strong presence at one of the largest aerospace tradeshows in the world. Leading this delegation is part of my administration’s commitment to building our momentum in these industries and continuing to attract jobs and investment to the state of Oklahoma.”
Oklahoma has positioned itself as a national leader in the aerospace, UAS and defense industries, which support over 150,000 jobs in the state for a total payroll of $5 billion annually. Oklahoma’s aerospace industrial output exceeds $12.5 billion per year, including annual exports of $4.4 billion to 170 countries.
Oklahoma also has a variety of unique aerospace resources and facilities. The state is host to one of only seven centers in the world for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO). In addition, Oklahoma City’s Tinker Air Force Base is now home to the new U.S. Air Force Sustainment Center and the largest Air Logistics Complex in the U.S. Department of Defense. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City is also the central support and training facility in the United States for the FAA and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Oklahoma also offers unparalleled opportunities for flight testing because of its access to restricted airspace from a UAS flight facility controlled and operated by the Oklahoma State University Multispectral Laboratories (UML) and its partners, helping to facilitate testing of UAS technology.
Because of these unique assets, the state was recently chosen as the test site for the Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety (RAPS) Program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The program will research and test small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, focusing on possible applications for first responders, including search and rescue scenarios, response to radiological and chemical incidents and fire response and mapping.
Fallin said the new program shows Oklahoma’s reputation in the UAS sector is growing.
“The selection of Oklahoma to host the RAPS program is one more sign that Oklahoma is becoming nationally recognized as a great place for Unmanned Aircraft System testing, research and development,” Fallin says. “Our goal at Farnborough is to take that success onto an international stage and continue to bring business into the state.”
McKeever says the air show represented an important opportunity for Oklahoma’s businesses.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase Oklahoma’s products, services, and value proposition that make Oklahoma a top destination for the global aerospace industry,” McKeever says. “The opportunities for Oklahoma in the UAS business are statewide, with impact across many different regions of the state. The ultimate goal is to help our existing manufacturers export their products overseas and attract new UAS manufacturers to the state. This will result in the growth of multiple economic development opportunities for Oklahoma and job creation for its citizens.