Adams County Commissioners and staff completed a successful trip to Japan with the April 22, 2019 announcement of a letter of intent with PD AeroSpace Ltd. to operate at Colorado Air and Space Port.
During their time in Japan (April 13-20), the group from Colorado had formal meetings with two aerospace companies, Spaceport Japan, and the Japanese space agency JAXA, and engaged the City of Machida in a governmental exchange.
From an economic development standpoint, the letter of intent with PD AeroSpace was a highlight of the trip. But there were substantive conversations with all the parties and an expressed interest to continue these discussions as these companies, site operators, and governing bodies continue their independent pursuits.
“It was an incredibly productive trip with companies and agencies in Japan – which is a top five trading partner with Colorado,” said Board Chair Steve O’Dorisio. “When discussing opportunities with potential aerospace partners, we weren’t just selling Colorado Air and Space Port, but the aerospace infrastructure that exists, along with Colorado and the quality of life we enjoy here.”
Sandwiched between the aerospace discussions were a meeting and tour of development projects and the Museum of Graphic Arts in the City of Machida. Mayor Joichi Ishizaka proved to be a gracious host by sharing insight into their governance structure and accepting small gifts, including a scarf from the Colorado Rapids. Mayor Ishizaka even suggested that it would be fun to have an exhibition match someday between their FC Machida Zelvia and the Adams County-based Rapids. City of Machida officials supplied the Colorado delegation with scrumptious local pastries and an exclusive tour at the Museum of Graphic arts. There, visitors were able to learn about and examine classical art pieces that are not often available for public viewing.
“It was fascinating to learn how many similarities we share with the City of Machida while also learning about the subtle differences in governing, policy making, and organizational structure,” said County Manager Raymond Gonzales. “The museum was incredibly memorable for both the scope of their collection and the understanding that some of the pieces we were fortunate enough to see date back hundreds of years.”
The delegation from Colorado included all five Adams County Commissioners, three staff members from the County Manager’s office, Colorado Air and Space Port Director Dave Ruppel, Vicky Lea from Metro Denver Economic Development and Colorado Space Coalition, and Brian Gulliver, an aerospace expert from Kimley-Horn Engineering. The county did not cover any costs associated with the trip for Lea or Gulliver. Marketing and presentation materials were created internally by the Adams County Communications Department.