The Washington Post

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.

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.


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