The Paris Air Show is the largest air show and aerospace-industry exhibition event in the world. Established in 1909, it is held every odd year at Paris–Le Bourget Airport in north Paris, France. Over several days, attendees gather to see demonstrations of military and civilian aircraft and meet various manufacturers and suppliers.
This year, the state of Michigan brought a delegation of professionals to promote the region as a premier place to do business, showcase our industry network and connect with potential leads. Representing Macomb County was Janelle Arbuckle-Michael, a senior economic developer with Macomb County Planning and Economic Development. A recap of her trip is featured in today’s Macomb Business blog.
Q: Why do we (Macomb County/Michigan) attend the show? What is the value?
A: Our goal is to bring an international or domestic company to Macomb County. Because if a company sets up shop, this typically brings millions of dollars in investment and jobs to our area, which is a win-win for everyone. I also help Macomb County companies who are attending the trade mission gain new customers by facilitating networking opportunities with existing or potential Michigan businesses.
Q: Who attends the show?
A: It’s the largest show in the world, featuring:
- 2,453 exhibitor companies from 49 countries
- 276 official delegations from 98 countries
- 139,840 trade visitors
Q: What sets Macomb County apart from other attendees?
A: We have the International Landing Zone (ILZ) at the Velocity Center in Sterling Heights, and that is a very attractive opportunity for a variety of international companies. Within the ILZ, businesses can set up shop for six months, free of charge. It's an opportunity to be near current and future suppliers without having the burden of finding available space. Ultimately, it gives companies the ability and the time to decide if Macomb County has the right buildings, talent and suppliers – an essential step in determining if a permanent presence can be established in the area.
Q: What was an average day at the air show like?
A: An average day consisted of walking over 10,000 steps to meet with suppliers in six different pavilions. My goal was to meet 15-20 new companies per day and meet with companies that Governor Snyder and the MEDC met with when Michigan last attended the event in 2017.
Q: Tell me about any business connections you were able to make.
A: I spoke to more than 50 companies about expansion opportunities within Macomb County and the state of Michigan. Most of the companies were aerospace suppliers to some key players like Boeing, or Lockheed Martin.
Q: What were the most impressive things you saw?
A: The air show has the F-35, commercial planes and other various flight demos daily, so it was certainly exciting to see those. There was also a really interesting and transformative announcement from Airbus. According to : "Airbus announced the A321XLR (LR = long range), the latest iteration of the A320neo. Scheduled to enter service in 2023, the A321XLR will have a range of 4,700 nautical miles, achievable through additional fuel storage capacity. Airbus said that the plane’s range will provide airlines less expensive single-aisle options on routes now served primarily by more expensive double-aisle aircraft. Such routes include New York-Rio, Shanghai-Sydney and Madrid-Dubai."
Q: Since you previously attended the show in 2017, tell me what has changed? What was new this year?
A: This year at the air show, there was a large discussion around the Boeing 737 Max, which is still not flying and it doesn't look like it will by the end of the year either. This led to discussions on increasing the safety of aviation and how this might look in the era of autonomous vehicles and planes.
For more information on the Paris Air Show, click . And to learn more about the work of Macomb County’s economic development team, visit .
Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for Macomb County Planning and Economic Development.