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Virginia Politics
Posted at 09:40 AM ET, 06/21/2011

McDonnell departs Tuesday for Paris Air Show

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) is to leave Tuesday afternoon for what is essentially a one-day trip to France for the Paris Air Show, an international trade fair for the aerospace business held every other year.

The trip will cost more than $40,000.

The governor is scheduled to spend Wednesday morning and afternoon in meetings with company officials and will lunch with officials from aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce, which invited him to the event, along with the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing.

He will visit the state’s booth at the show and meet with companies with Virginia companies exhibiting at the booth, including Defense Technology Equipment Inc. and International Communications Group Inc.
James Guyette, president and CEO of Rolls-Royce North America, left, with McDonnell. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Wednesday night, McDonnell will host a Rolls-Royce supplier and CCAM reception and dinner at Cercle de l’Union social club.

He leaves Richmond at 2:45 p.m., arriving in Paris at 6 a.m. Wednesday and leaves Thursday at 8:30 a.m. He is staying at the Best Western Premier – Opera Diamond.

Rolls-Royce opened a manufacturing and research facility in Prince George’s County in May.

McDonnell (R) will be accompanied by Jim Cheng, Virginia secretary of commerce and trade; Vince Barnett, director of communications and promotions for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership; Allen Finch, project executive for Virginia Economic Development Partnership; and Matthias Duys, director of international investment for the state’s European office.

In 2001, then-Gov. Jim Gilmore (R) caused a stir when he sent two of his Cabinet secretaries to the Paris Air Show and they spent tens of thousands of dollars on first-class plane tickets, $1,000 suites and a chauffeured Mercedes.

The trip will cost about $42,454 for McDonnell, Cheng and Barnett, according to McDonnell spokesman Jeff Caldwell. The cost includes meals, transportation and hotel.

By  |  09:40 AM ET, 06/21/2011

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