Congratulations to McFarlane Aviation, Inc.: 2018 Governor’s Award of Excellence Recipient

We value the entrepreneurs and businesses across our state that risk their capital to innovate and grow their dreams into successful businesses right here in Kansas. Our goal is to help businesses of all sizes to be successful, whether by providing resources and workforce services or protecting Kansas businesses against burdensome rules and regulations.

Kansas Governor, Jeff Colyer

Winners of the 2018 Governor’s Exporter of the Year and Award of Excellence awards were announced at the Team Kansas banquet in Lawrence, Kansas on June 5, part of Kansas Business Appreciation Month. Not only was McFarlane Aviation a finalist for this prestigious award, but they were the recipient of the 2018 Governor’s Award of Excellence, the highest award given to a business by the state. The banquet award ceremony was preceded by the International Trade Day conference organized by the Kansas Department of Commerce.


The 2018 Governor’s Award of Excellence, is the highest award given to a business by the state was awarded to McFarlane Aviation, Inc. The purpose of the award is to recognize Kansas businesses for their contributions to the local and state economy, communities and overall quality of life.  Award qualifications include:

  • Business expansion in Kansas
  • Successful employee retention and recruitment practices
  • Employee training / educational programs
  • Capital investment in Kansas
  • Support of local activities and community events

A rigorous application process entails the business being nominated for the award followed by Kansas Department of Commerce official review of application materials with regional winners in the manufacturing/distribution, service, retail and hospital/non-profit categories selected. In 2018, nearly 80 businesses were considered for this award. The panel of judges selected five finalists from this pool and each finalist was required to  give a presentation about their company and community involvement. Previous award recipients are located across the state from Olathe to Dodge City. We are proud that  McFarlane Aviation and Baldwin City, KS are among the list!

McFarlane Aviation was also one of five finalists for the 2018 Governor’s Exporter of the Year. The Governor’s Exporter of the Year award is presented annually to a single Kansas company in recognition of its excellent performance in international trade and its outstanding international marketing.Since 1988, the Kansas International Trade Coordinating Council (KITCC) and the Kansas Department of Commerce spotlight the critical role international trade plays in the growth of the Kansas economy. The Kansas International Trade Coordinating Council is comprised of representatives from companies that have previously won the award along with international trade specialists from business, government and academia. This year marks the 30th anniversary of this prestigious award. Other finalists included Extru-Tech Inc., Sabetha; Knit-Rite, Kansas City; NorthWind technical Services, Sabetha and the winner of the award, Schroer Manufacturing Company (Shor-Line), Kansas City. In 2017, Kansas exported $11.25 billion of merchandise, with Canada, Mexico, and Japan topping the list of export destinations.  More than 2,600 small and medium-sized firms in Kansas were involved in exporting.


For the Curious…Facts about McFarlane Aviation, Inc.

CEO:  Dave McFarlane
# of Employees:  89
U.S. Headquarters:  Baldwin City, KS

Year est: 1971, incorporated 1986, in KS since 1979

Began exporting 1997

Company Profile: 
McFarlane Aviation designs and manufactures nearly 2,000 FAA-PMA parts for Cessna, Piper, Grumman, Beechcraft and Ag Cat aircraft. McFarlane products are engineered to be superior in quality, have a longer service life and are more affordable than the corresponding OEM aircraft parts. McFarlane, a family-owned small business founded in 1986, also distributes many quality replacement aircraft parts for other manufacturers. McFarlane manufactures approximately 80% of its products; 20% of its products are buy-resell.

Geographic Markets: 
Products are sold into more than 50 countries across the globe. A majority of sales originate from South America, Australia, Canada, Argentina, Brazil and Columbia.

Export Journey: 
At the outset, McFarlane sought to sell products to U.S. customers in the aviation maintenance market. Upon launching its first website in 1997, the company, like many others at the time, was simply ensuring it had a presence on the web. What they didn’t realize was the power the web had to connect with customers well beyond U.S. borders and thereby create demand for its products from unexpected places. A fortunate coincidence is that English is the universal language of aviation. Seizing the opportunity that knocked, McFarlane began exporting its products in 2002. Sales to international customers were essentially an early iteration of e-commerce as we know it today, albeit with faxed and emailed orders. Payment was made with credit cards and wire transfers in U.S. dollars, as is the case today. In addition to direct sales, McFarlane also employs a distributor network to sell their products in markets across the globe. Exports now account for 21% of revenues.