Once viewed as the oil capital of the world, Tulsa is now focused on diversifying its economy in seven key industry sectors. Aerospace accounts for some of the region’s strongest economic output, rivaling even the energy industry. In order to foster relationships within the global aerospace industry, Tulsa Regional Chamber staff joined state and regional economic development partners at the Paris International Air Show, a premier event for commercial and military aviation.
The air show brings together industry players from around the world, showcasing the latest technological innovations in aviation and defense. Attended by more than 351,000 visitors from 50 countries, the show provides space for exhibitors and industry partners to demonstrate products, secure contracts and conduct business face-to-face.
Chamber staff, including Senior Vice President of Economic Development Brien Thorstenberg and Director of Aerospace Strategy and Development Dennis Altendorf, were on hand at the State of Oklahoma booth to spotlight the Tulsa region’s vital role in the aerospace industry. Thorstenberg, Altendorf and Kathy Taylor, chief of economic development for the City of Tulsa, held private meetings with three companies currently in Tulsa and with 12 exploring potential expansions to the region. A major selling point for corporate expansion is northeast Oklahoma’s robust aerospace workforce, nearly 32,000 strong.
Additional regional partners in attendance at the air show included the Tulsa Airport Authority, the City of Broken Arrow, the Mid-America Industrial Park, M&M Manufacturing, Janeway Machine, Ferra Aerospace and Consolidated Turbine Specialist. Gov. Mary Fallin, Secretary of Commerce Debbie Snodgrass and Secretary of Science and Technology Kelvin Droegemeier also attended the show.
As the aerospace in Oklahoma continues to grow and evolve, participation at events such as the Paris Air Show are crucial to maintaining the Tulsa region’s standing in the industry.