Singing praise for KC in Paris: A local delegation goes abroad to promote the city as significant to the aviation market.

VanLoh: "We want to compete with the big guys."

Numerous international manufacturers and military agencies from several countries attend. And major sales contracts often are announced during the event.

Fullerton, whose group is funded by both private and public dollars, said his airfare will cost about $1,700.

"We have marketed to subsections of the aviation industry and attended various air cargo trade shows," he said.

"But last year we decided that we needed to make a presence in the big show, so to speak."

Larry Thrasher, a Northland resident and a frequent City Hall critic, thought the trip to the Paris Air Show would be worthwhile.

"If we can do something to bring more jobs to the Northland, then I am all for it," he said.

VanLoh, whose airfare was $1,600, said the global business environment makes the trip necessary.

"Many of the new cargo customers are coming from China, not the U.S.," he said. "I wouldn't rule out us making a trip to China, Taiwan or Japan in another year or so."

To reach Mike Rice, call 816-234-5903 or send e-mail to

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