Huntsville leaders head to aviation industry event - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Huntsville leaders head to aviation industry event

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Huntsville city leaders, as well as area industrial executives, are headed for a week of intense networking at one of the world’s premier aviation industry events - the Farnborough Air Show in Farnborough England.

“This is where you can to everybody in the worldwide aerospace community and talk to the decision makers there,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. “You’ve got about a week period that you’ve got everybody gathered in one place.”

The air show itself takes place on July 19 and 20, but events affiliated with it begin this weekend as executives from the top aerospace companies from around the world gather in London.

An Alabama delegation of about 90 representatives will be there, as will a group of 20 specifically from the Huntsville area. That will include representatives from the city of Huntsville, the Huntsville Madison County Chamber of Commerce, the North Alabama International Trade Association as well as some of the area’s biggest name in the industry such as Aerodyne Rocket Jet, Northrop Grumman, United Launch Alliance and others.

The delegation already has more than 40 meetings lined up with industry decision makers over the next week, said Lucia Cape with the Chamber of Commerce.

She said industry leaders at Farnborough know Huntsville’s reputation as an aviation center and that connections made there have already brought valuable investment and jobs to North Alabama.

“The Raytheon manufacturing facility on Redstone Arsenal was announced at Farnborough,” she said. “Now it’s fully in production. NTS was a company that we met in Farnborough. And it turned into an acquisition here locally with a presence now, NTS Huntsville.”

“GE intelligent platforms brought in 120 jobs,” said Battle. “Northrop Grumman brought in 180 jobs with their systems integration and engineering center of excellence. Boeing brought in 400 jobs with their center of excellence for engineering. Each one of those, it comes about because of the kinds of contacts that we’ve made over the past 6, 7, 8, 10 years with those companies and when we talk to the about business that can be done here, those jobs come here because of that.”

Cape said the Huntsville delegation planned a reception this Sunday and has already received more than 300 RSVPs for the event.


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