Washington State delegation joins German aerospace cluster at Aircraft Interiors Expo

Commerce leads 11 Washington companies seeking to strengthen connections, build on opportunities with Germany’s Hanse-Aerospace group at international trade show

OLYMPIA, Wash.  –  Washington State, the leading global hub for aerospace design, development and manufacturing, is the only U.S. state exhibiting at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), April 4-6 in Hamburg, Germany. For its third appearance at AIX, the Washington Department of Commerce joins more than 80 companies exhibiting under the umbrella of Germany‘s Hanse-Aerospace association of aviation and space industry companies.

One day before AIX, Commerce staff and several members of the delegation will visit Airbus at its center in Hamburg Finkenwerder.

Hosting their largest AIX delegation to date, the “Choose Washington” team has its own island exhibit (#6A70/F) inside the Hanse-Aerospace Pavilion – the focal point of the show. Participating Washington State delegates are:

Washington’s aerospace sector numbers more than 1,400 related firms, employing nearly 139,000 of the world’s most highly trained workers, supplying every major aircraft equipment manufacturer worldwide. Aircraft interiors is one of the fastest-growing segments, and Washington companies are on the leading edge of demand for new technology and design, with features and materials that are redefining comfort and function in the air.

“Our aerospace industry serves the full breadth of commercial, military, general aviation and space, producing nearly 90 percent of all passenger planes manufactured in North America,” said Brian Bonlender, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce.

A major driver of Washington’s economy, the powerful aerospace sector strengthens communities all across the state, with aerospace-related businesses employing people in 35 of 39 counties, Bonlender said.

“We would not be able to attend such prestigious international industry events as AIX in Hamburg without the continued support and guidance from the Washington State Department of Commerce,” explains Debbie Lee, CEO of Tool Gauge. “As a fast-growing Washington-based aerospace supplier, the ability to connect directly with our European customers is instrumental to our future success and we are grateful to Commerce for providing us with those opportunities.”

“IDEA International was formed in early 2005. Our ability to operate on a global level has definitely been enhanced through the invaluable support of the Washington State Department of Commerce and their support team. We have traveled to Europe, the Middle East and Asia and gained multiple contracts as a result. A jolly big thank you to one and all,” said Julian Shape, President/CEO, IDEA International, an engineering and certification consultancy specializing in structures and interiors stress analysis.

“The Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg is the most cost-effective event for us to meet international customers, including airlines and OEMs, for the very large aircraft interiors market,” said John Courtright, director of sales and marketing for Structural Integrity Engineering (SIE). “SIE is in the business of providing quality installation engineering and supplemental type certificates for complex cabin interior reconfigurations and aircraft connectivity systems and, as a small supplier, this business is important to us.  Without the teamwork and guidance of the Washington State Department of Commerce aerospace team, SIE would not have the global reach needed to get to this international customer base.”

“Orion is appreciative of the guidance from the Washington State Department of Commerce and the U.S. Export Assistance Center that we received while introducing our capabilities to a larger market, and promoting our products and services on an international stage,” said John Theisen, president and CEO of Orion Industries, and Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance 2017 Executive of the Year. A three-time Boeing Supplier of the Year, Orion is a leader in the manufacturing, painting and finishing of precision metal fabrication parts. Its nonprofit training and education division, Orionworks, was recently honored with a 2017 Innovation Award by the Puget Sound Business Journal for its work addressing diverse populations and employing persons with disabilities or other barriers to employment.

Several companies in this year’s AIX delegation received export vouchers and other assistance including market research, business-to-business matchmaking and other services from the Department of Commerce international trade team.

Learn about all of the companies in this year’s AIX trade show online. Visit Washington State’s exhibit in Hamburg in the Hanse-Aerospace Pavilion, stand 6A70/F.  Follow on social media @WAStateCommerce.

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