Will the Paris Air Show pay dividends for the Space Coast?

A thwarted terrorist attack in Paris, not far from the Paris Air Show, as well as another attempted attack in nearby Belgium, added a level of tension for Floridians attending the Paris Air Show.

Ironically, just about 90 minutes before someone tried to attack security forces on the Champs-Elysees shopping district in Paris Monday afternoon, Orlando Melbourne International Airport Executive Director Greg Donovan was thanking Paris law enforcement for keeping things safe.

“As Monday’s terrorist attack on Paris police confirmed,  we are mindful that we are conducting business under a high-terror alert and are grateful to their law enforcement for their protection,” Donovan said in an e-mail to FLORIDA TODAY.

Police also were able to stop an attack Tuesday at a train station in Belgium.

Donovan is at the Parish Air Show, along with other Florida officials, to spread the word about business opportunities on the Space Coast and the Sunshine State.

As Donovan was leaving Paris-Le Bourget Airport, site of the air show, he distributed patches from the Orlando Melbourne International’s police department to two French police officers.

The 2017 Paris Air Show started Saturday and runs through Sunday.

One piece of local news announced Monday at the air show was Lockheed Martin Corp.’s selection of Harris Corp. to upgrade mission system avionics for the F-35 Lightning II.

Harris is headquartered in Melbourne, across the street from the Orlando Melbourne International’s main airfield.

Also on display at the airshow is a Legacy 450 assembled at the Embraer jet facility at Orlando Melbourne International.

 

“We have a duty to support and further engage our key tenants, such as Embraer, and to further grow our airport by attending and vigorously participating in this signature international aviation and aerospace conference,” said Jack Ryals, chairman of the Melbourne Airport Authority. “It was a proud moment to stand by this Legacy 450 made at MLB.”

 

The recent Embraer expansion, as well as the continuing growth of Northrop Grumman Corp. at the airport added cache to the Donovan’s, and others’, pursuit of economic growth for Brevard while at the air show.

“We as an airport feel a responsibility to leverage what can be accomplished at MLB, including the recent successful completion of the $58 million expansion of Embraer airside at our airport on time and on budget,” Donovan said. “Touring the chalet village, I took note of how many of the same aviation industry leaders line our airfield and enjoyed meeting with C-level executives from those companies and those we are working to attract.”

“Multi-million dollar investments in a community must be cultivated over multiple years and well worth the investment.  You can’t earn that level of trust and credibility via email.”

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Contact Price at 321-242-3658 or wprice@floridatoday.com.