The Washington Post

McDonnell heads to Paris Air Show next month

A month after he returns from Asia, Gov. Bob McDonnell will fly to France for the Paris Air Show, an international trade fair for the aerospace business held every other year.

Aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce, which opened a manufacturing and research facility in Prince George’s County on Monday, and the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, invited McDonnell (R) to the event.

McDonnell will be accompanied by Secretary of Commerce and Trade Jim Cheng and three representatives of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and European Trade 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 air plane tickets, $1,000 suites and a chauffeured Mercedes.

McDonnell’s office doesn’t yet have a cost estimate for the trip, McDonnell spokeswoman Taylor Thornley said. But it seems unlikely he’ll face questions similar to his predecessor — he’s going for less than two days and probably won’t be spending too much money in the City of Lights.

He leaves Richmond June 21, arriving in Paris early the morning of June 22, and returns early the morning of June 23.

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