Tomás Sibaja
President
Aerospace Cluster of Baja California
/
Expert Contributor

FAMEX 2021: Tribute to a Dear Friend

By Tomás Sibaja | Thu, 10/14/2021 - 09:18

We have had the pleasure of participating in the Mexico Aerospace Fair (FAMEX) since its first edition in Santa Lucia in 2015 and in every bi-annual edition since then. I am mesmerized and surprised by the convening capacity of its organizing committee in joining efforts to unite an entire country in this sector of such relevance and specialized technological weight for Mexico. In these events, we are one strong Mexican voice sharing with the world our accomplishments and opportunities in the aerospace industry. We promote foremost our SMEs seeking to be qualified suppliers to large tractor companies, while encouraging our academic sector and our young students to seek a career in this industry that is seeing growing demand on a global scale.

Gen. Rodolfo Rodriguez Quezada was undoubtedly key to the success of FAMEX since its inception. Supported by the Ministry of Defense, the Mexican Air Force, FEMIA and all the aerospace clusters in Mexico, and with his gifted charisma, he knew how to earn the respect and appreciation of all of us. His legacy and good business practices resulted in three successful editions. Gen. Rodriguez Quezada is no longer with us; however, his presence was deeply felt in the fourth edition of FAMEX, held in September 2021. His team under the leadership and determination of Gen. Cesar Tapia, his successor in this endeavor, paid the right tribute to this extraordinary man.

We all enjoyed a first-class event that was validated by the presence of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. At FAMEX 2021, López Obrador participated in the opening ceremony, and in touring the pavilions afterward, attested to the strategic importance and economic impact that the aerospace industry offers our country.

FAMEX undoubtedly has united our country, a vast territory that has grown successfully into aerospace clusters scattered all over, each of us representing a region with its own identity, needs and challenges. But when it comes to FAMEX, we are the united Mexican aerospace industry to the world. FAMEX is gaining momentum and becoming one of the most important aerospace shows, not only in Latin America but in the world. This is certainly a joint accomplishment but no doubt requires the stamina of a great leader.

Baja California has the oldest and largest representation of the aerospace industry in Mexico. We started in 1966 with the first maquila operation for the aerospace industry. Since then, we have grown into more than 125 companies that are certified AS9100, and in some cases combined with NADCAP-approved accreditations and/or ITAR-approved MLAs. All of us are proudly Mexican-set operations that meet the highest standards among our peers from other industries in our northern western region. With an estimated 37,000 jobs and export value in 2020 of more than US$2.8 billion, the aerospace industry in Baja California had a special place in Gen. Rodriguez Quezada’s vision. He visited several times, he courted our companies, and he invested time and effort with passion. We knew it and we responded with the same enthusiasm and commitment.

This year, more than 50 companies from Baja California attended FAMEX. We wanted to thank him for the effort and sweat he put into FAMEX, honoring Mexico and supporting the accomplishments of all of us as Mexicans. But most important, he helped show the world that Mexico is a great place to be in the aerospace landscape.

Gen. Rodolfo Rodriguez Quezada, we salute you and respect you for all you did for Mexico and for the aerospace industry in our great country. You were missed. May your soul rest in peace.

Photo by:   Tomás Sibaja

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