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Paris Air Show Is Big Business

The 47th International Paris Air Show is running this week. It is a showcase of aviation and aerospace technology. And as VOA's Brian Padden reports, this is big, big business with more than 2,000 exhibitors from 42 countries.

At this year's Paris Air Show there are more than 140 different types of aircraft on display -- everything from jets to helicopters, to even the latest in stealth technology. It is like an amusement park for people fascinated with flying. But for the 2,000 exhibitors from 42 countries here, this is serious business. Just about everyone in the aviation and aerospace world comes here to buy.

And Jean Pierre Cojan, with SNFCMA, the world's fourth-largest aircraft engine manufacturer, is ready to sell. "We have 16,000 engines in service and somewhere in the world an aircraft takes off every three seconds with one of those engines."

Just one client here can change the fortune of a small company, such as Acaleph from Holland. It sells mobile flight safety training programs. And as the company's Wil Nijsten says, Acaleph found that one client at the last Paris air show. "We provide now three different types of training. It's a big client. So we hope the same this year."

Not everyone here is looking to sell. Some local governments, like the U.S. southern state of Alabama, are here to bring back more jobs to their regions. Roger Wehner is with the Alabama Power Company. "Our whole intent is to try to find those folks who it makes sense to relocate to the southeastern United States for aerospace," he says.

This year the Paris Air Show is expected to attract more than 200,000 visitors from 150 countries.