47G represents cutting-edge technology in aerospace and defense industryFeb 08, 2024 02:34PM ● By Becky Ginos
Gov. Spencer Cox speaks at the Utah Aerospace and Defense Association’s launch of its new brand, 47G in October. Photo courtesy of 47G
SALT LAKE CITY—Imagine getting off of a plane at the Salt Lake airport and jumping on an air taxi that will take you to Provo or Park City instead of fighting through traffic. It sounds like something from the futuristic 1960s cartoon “The Jetsons” but it could be a reality in the very near future. It’s part of the Governor’s vision to make Utah the leader in air mobility by the 2034 Olympics.
“The Governor has asked us to lead out,” said Aaron Starks, 47G president and CEO. “We’ll move people and packages via air taxi. It flies at low altitude and it’s hybrid or electric so it will reduce the carbon footprint and improve air quality.”
The Utah Aerospace and Defense Association launched its new brand, “47G” in October. 47G is the world’s premier ecosystem for aerospace, defense and cyber companies in Utah, whose mission is to fund entrepreneurship, foster talent and fuel innovation.
“Air mobility will be done in phases,” said Starks. “Phase 1 is moving cargo. Aviation is about safety. We’ll move cargo instead of people first, then focus on people who could take things like medical supplies to rural areas in the state.”
Someone might need a kidney transplant or blood in Kanab, he said. “It’s innovations like that that are going to hit our state first.”
The 47G brand holds deep significance, said Starks. “It is more than just a new name. 47G pays homage to the Utah pioneers who settled the region in 1847 and to the test pilots who shattered records to experience nearly 47 g, the greatest acceleration ever achieved by humankind. Utah’s frontier landscape, entrepreneurial spirit, and pioneer legacy makes us a natural choice for those seeking the freedom to push the boundaries of technology.”
There are 120 member companies throughout the state, and almost every college and university, he said. “It’s (Utah Aerospace and Defense Association) the largest association in the state and is supported by the Governor and legislature and led by Chris Stewart.”
47G’s primary focus is to increase the amount of spending and investment made in this space, Starks said. “In the next five to seven years we expect to see our number of $10 billion to double with an annual investment and spending of $20 billion.”
Starks said there is a joint partnership between the Governor, UDOT (Utah Department of Transportation) and 47G. “When the time comes we’ll provide the infrastructure we need and make sure we have the right policies in place.”
“47G members represent a constellation of Utah’s leading companies, suppliers, educational institutions like the University of Utah, and state representatives who are at the forefront of developing and deploying world-leading, next-generation technologies,” said former Congressman Chris Stewart, 47G chair. “We are successfully charting an ambitious course to become ‘America’s Deep Tech Frontier.’”
This was born out of a love of the state of Utah, said Starks. “Our economy is shaped and influenced by this industry more than any other industry. I’m excited for the future of the state.”