Arizona's cloudless skies and more than 300 days of sunshine – ideal for stargazing, testing and flying – have attracted to the state such aerospace & defense industry giants as Raytheon, Honeywell, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and more.
Lower taxes, less burdensome government regulations, a competitive incentives package, and exceptional aerospace and engineering programs at the university level have led to Arizona’s top-10 rankings in Department of Defense contracts as well as in A&D manufacturing, aerospace exports and aerospace jobs.
Aerospace & Defense Growth
A 2015 study by the International Trade Administration, WorldTradeStatistics.com revealed that Arizona's aerospace & defense total exports rose by more than 21.8% from 2011 to 2014, reaching a $3.47 billion total. The increase was primarily due to a near $400 million increase in aircraft, engines and parts exports.
According to a 2012 Deloitte study, Arizona ranks fourth nationwide in aerospace industry payroll and fourth in aerospace revenue at $14.99 billion. More than 1,200 Arizona-based companies make this state America's third-largest supply chain contributor for aerospace & defense.
Employment & Education
TechAmerica's 2014 Cyberstates Report ranks Arizona fourth nationwide for jobs in the space and defense systems manufacturing industry, employing more than 8,300 people. A 2012 report by Brooking Metropolitan Policy noted that Tucson ranks fourth in the nation for the total percentage of manufacturing workforce dedicated to high-tech work, with more than 51% of it related to aerospace & defense.
Four major research institutions in Arizona have been provided the NASA Space Grant: Arizona State University, Embry Riddle University (home of the nation's highest-ranked aerospace engineering program among non-doctoral program schools, according to U.S. News & World Report), Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona.
Arizona Advantages in A&D
- Located west of Phoenix in central Arizona, Luke Air Force Base is home to the 56th Fighter Wing, the largest fighter wing in the world and the only active-duty Air Force F-16 training wing, and also operates as the sole pilot training center for the F-35A Lightning II.
- Fort Huachuca in southern Arizona is the largest unmanned aerial systems (UAS) training facility in the world. The $10,000,000 facility contains 25,000 square feet of space and 10 simulators.
- The Yuma Proving Ground in western Arizona is the second-largest military installation in the world, spread over 838,000 acres, roughly the size of Rhode Island.
- Within the state, there are 15 industry and trade associations for aerospace & defense.
Major A&D Operations
Among the companies taking advantage of Arizona's favorable aerospace & defense climate are:
- Honeywell International
- General Dynamics C4 Systems
- The Boeing Company
- Northrop Grumman
- Orbital Sciences Corporation
- United Technologies
- L3 Communications
- Standard Aero (MRO)
- Bombardier Inc.
- Nammo Talley
- #2 largest employment in guided missile systems manufacturing
- #2 largest employment in space and defense systems manufacturing
- #4 largest employment in aviation and aerospace manufacturing
- #6 largest employment in Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) occupations
- Top 10 largest employment in aviation and aerospace services
From the world's largest military and training bases to top-ranked educational and research facilities, the aerospace and defense industry soars in Arizona.
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With cutting-edge research and world-class programs on the University level, no state flies higher in aerospace and defense than Arizona.
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Arizona's leading advancements in aerospace and defense span sectors from commercial aviation to space and astronomy.
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Arizona AEROSPACE & DEFENSE: In The News
PHOENIX, Ariz. (May 22, 2017) -- Constant Aviation and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey today announced a major economic development win for the state with the news that Constant Aviation, a full-service maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) operation with a nationwide network, will establish a new operation at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in Mesa, Arizona.
PHOENIX, Ariz. (May 11, 2017) -- The Phoenix office of JLL has completed a new, 38,000-square-foot lease that will relocate FinTech company Upgrade Inc. from San Francisco into two floors at Renaissance Center I in downtown Phoenix. The move is the latest example of a Silicon Valley company expanding its essential business functions in Phoenix instead of taking more space in the Bay Area.
From the TechConnect Blog