INDUSTRY FOCUS: The “Space” That Keeps Us Grounded
By Dominique Cantelme
From the March/April 2012 issue
Aerospace refers to the industry that researches, designs, manufactures, operates and maintains vehicles moving through air and space. A world leader in advancing science and technology, the diverse field encompasses commercial, industrial and military applications and in most industrial countries is a cooperation of both public and private industries (e.g., U.S. government runs NASA to explore and research while companies like Boeing may manufacture their aircrafts).
The U.S. is home to the world’s largest aerospace industry. A new report by professional services network company Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL), entitled The Aerospace and Defense Industry in the U.S.: A financial and economic impact study, which was commissioned by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), demonstrates the irreplaceable impact the aerospace and defense industry has on America’s economic and national security and emphasizes the industry’s support of more than three million American workers. The research conducted shows that aerospace and defense generated $324 billion in sales in 2010, contributed 2.23 percent to the GDP, had a direct payroll of $84 billion, paid federal and state cash income taxes of $38 billion and exported $90 billion worth of goods. Aerospace and defense also is the number one contributor to the nation’s positive trade balance at a net $42 billion.
“Aerospace is a bright spot in a bleak economic landscape,” says Marion Blakely, president and chief executive officer of the AIA. Aerospace and defense contributes to national security, delivers humanitarian aid, prompts new technology to help reduce casualty rates in armed conflict, brings safer and more fuel efficient jet transportation and provides groundbreaking technology to connect society with advances in digital communications. In addition, aerospace and defense workers enjoy one of the highest average wages compared to many other industries.
Dayton: Forging the Future of Aerospace
The Dayton Region is in a period of profound transformation and has a powerful opportunity to reinvent itself. The aerospace industry has the potential to forge a bright new future for the region. At the heart of this economic engine are Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) and Springfield Air National Guard Base (SANG). Wright-Patterson is the largest single site employer in Ohio, with a direct, annual economic impact of more than $5 billion per year.
Springfield ANG is increasing the extensive capabilities of the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC), the Department of Defense (DoD) air and space intelligence agency and will be a cornerstone in the region’s unmanned aerial systems (UAS) strategy. The fiscal injection into the local economy and the strategic missions of these installations offer an unprecedented foundation to build upon. The academic and private-sector aerospace capabilities that have been developed in the region as a result of Air Force research, development, test, evaluation and collaboration have positioned the Dayton Region to be a national leader in aeronautics and aerospace systems. The goal is to reestablish leadership of the United States in the world of aeronautics research, development, technology and manufacturing and set the national aerospace agenda, while rebuilding Dayton’s regional economy.
Currently no aircraft are being manufactured in Southwest Ohio, but the Region is a national leader in the aircraft manufacturing supply chain. The combined strengths of both Dayton and Cincinnati create a nearly complete supply chain within just a 50 mile radius. Of the top 30 manufacturing industries that the aircraft manufacturing sector requires for aircraft production, 24 are concentrated in Southwest Ohio. In these same 30 industries in the aircraft manufacturing supply chain, Ohio ranks third in the nation in the number of jobs and capacity, with only California and Texas offering greater capacity, but at significantly higher wages.
Unlike other communities that solely focus on manufacturing aircraft, the Dayton Region leads aerospace research and development, as well. Home of the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Region also houses R&D contractors and small businesses that focus on the technological needs of the Air Force and the aerospace industry.
Ardmore, OK: Location, Capacity
Ardmore, OK is ideally located to serve the Texas/Oklahoma and South Central markets. With many distribution centers such as Best Buy, Dollar General, Dot Foods, Meadowbrook Meats, Michelin and others—in addition to its proximity to Interstate 35 which runs through the west side of Ardmore and provides easy transportation access to points north and south—Ardmore has become a major shipping and distribution hub.
The Ardmore Industrial Airpark, formerly an Air Force Base, is situated 16 miles northeast of Ardmore. From Interstate 35, take State Highway 53, a super-wide improved two lane, nine miles directly into the Airpark. The Airpark is also accessible from Ardmore utilizing the four-lane Highway 77, then Highway 53. The airstrip has two runways with landing lights, the longest a 150 ft. x 9,000 ft. (plus a 500-foot overrun). The airport features full instrumentation including glide-scope; adequate flight space for flight testing; an FAA-staffed control tower; parking capacity for 100 commercial-sized aircraft; an airplane wash rack and sewer facilities; a fueling and defueling station; 24 hour fire, rescue and security systems; and a full service FBO. A rail spur from the BNSF main line serves the Ardmore Industrial Airpark.