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LOCATIONS FOR THE AEROSPACE/DEFENSE INDUSTRY: Stability With High Hopes


An industry that innovates oftentimes accelerates change. Aerospace may soar steadily, but can it help get the economy off the ground?

Aerospace is traditionally defined as an “assemblage of manufacturing concerns that deal with vehicular flight within and beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.” The U.S. is home to the world’s largest aerospace industry; total sales have steadily increased over the last decade. 2008 ended with modest growth in every sector (profits of approximately $20.9 billion) and, despite the current economic downturn, leaders of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) have a positive outlook for 2009. “Aerospace is a bright spot in a bleak economic landscape,” says Marion Blakely, president and chief executive officer of the AIA.

The forecast is for 4.8% growth with sales of $214 billion and there is a $61-billion foreign trade balance, the highest of any U.S. manufacturing sector. Also, the Boeing machinist strike has created a backlog of about seven times the company’s current production rate.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also forecasts long-term growth. Lynne Osmus, Acting Director of the FAA, says “oil price volatility, economic uncertainty, congestion, and environmental issues” are challenging the business climate of the aviation industry, but that “in the long run, commercial aviation demand at FAA facilities is projected to grow as the economy recovers and air-carrier operations continue to expand. Equally true in the longer term, the demand for general aviation products and services will be on the upswing.” With more than 650,000 direct employees and two million middle-class jobs spread out over 30,000 companies in 50 states, the U.S. aerospace industry exports $97-billion worth of products, helps ensure national security, and strengthens technological innovation.

City of Brampton: Canada Can Fly

Site selection is no easy task. Where can you find that perfect base for your headquarters? You’re looking for a launch pad to success—a place where even the sky isn’t your limit.

Strategic thinking is crucial at this stage. Choosing the right location is a make-or-break decision that depends heavily upon on resources and incentives.

There’s no argument, the City of Brampton, Ontario has everything you’re looking for, and everything you will be looking for the minute your endeavor begins to take flight. Key players in the aerospace industry call Brampton home and with good reason—doing business in Brampton is a smart move.

Ever heard of the Canadarm? What about the Canadarm 2? Well, MDA Space Missions built them both for the International Space Station in its last decade as an industry-leading Brampton enterprise. MDA is still there, drawing on the city’s wealth of advanced resources and pushing the boundaries of modern space technology in robotics, satellite tech, and geospatial services.

Aerospace firms in Ontario are world leaders in major aerospace programs and niche markets. They are suppliers to a plethora of flagship aircraft as well—the Airbus A380, Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and the U.S. led Joint Strike Fighter (F-35) are just a few of the world’s leading aircraft that depend upon the province’s aerospace sector to keep them in flight.

Brampton enterprises enjoy flexible and responsive municipal and provincial governments that are committed to growing businesses through generous incentives and ongoing support. With bonuses like a generous tax credit on Research and Development spending and up to $10 million in tax-free available loans, locating your aerospace firm in Brampton means a quick, no-hassle start-up and personalized support.

The Ontario Advanced Manufacturing Investment Strategy is a $500-million, multi-year repayable loan program designed to encourage companies in the province to adopt the most advanced manufacturing processes and technologies available today, increasing overall productivity and competitiveness. Ontario’s government recently has created the Apprentice Training Tax Credit as well, which refunds 25 percent of wages or salaries of eligible apprentices within the first 35 months of a training program, up to $15,000.

The City of Brampton also is a strategic partner and investor in the internationally acclaimed Sheridan Centre of Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies. It is a modern learning and research facility that supports Brampton’s ongoing demand for graduates skilled in engineering, manufacturing management, design, and machining. It provides technical programs geared toward specific sectors of prosperity within the city—including advanced manufacturing (AM) and aerospace technologies—and also assists locally with the adoption and deployment of AM technologies, making Brampton one of the best-equipped and most sophisticated AM locations in all of Canada. Needless to say, the Sheridan Centre’s presence provides additional thrust to the city’s already booming aerospace industry.

Brampton is geared for growth, and before you know it, it’s time to expand. There are more than 3,000 acres of serviced commercial land available and waiting for your foundation footings. In the aerospace sector, maintaining reliable communications is absolutely vital for success in today’s markets. Stay connected with an advanced and reliable fibre optic communications network—just one example of how Brampton businesses enjoy the best industrial infrastructure available today.

Oklahoma IS Aerospace

As the lead economic development agency in the state, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce is committed to further developing the state’s largest industry sector—aerospace. By increasing the quantity and quality of aviation and aerospace jobs in the state, Oklahoma can expand and continue to grow its knowledge-based economy rooted in a dynamic aerospace industry.

In Oklahoma, the aerospace industry employs more than 143,000 people at more than 300 companies, representing a payroll of more than $4.7 billion and an industrial output that exceeds $11 billion. This means aviation contributes 7.6 percent of the state’s payroll and 10 percent of the state’s industrial output. Nearly $60.6 million is generated in state sales tax revenue by aerospace-related entities each year.

Commerce has built partnerships in both the public and private sectors to enhance the competitive position of aviation and aerospace companies in Oklahoma, a state with a deep history in aerospace—from early aviation pioneers to modern-day space missions. That heritage is embodied in the state’s pro-business policies and reflects the state’s commitment to cutting-edge aerospace development and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Oklahoma offers a range of advantages and incentives to aerospace companies that are difficult to match anywhere else in the world:

Oklahoma is one of the seven centers in the world for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO). The American Airlines Maintenance and Engineering Center in Tulsa is the largest commercial MRO facility in the world. The Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker Air Force Base is the largest depot in the U.S. Department of Defense. Oklahoma also is home to the main U.S. inland spaceport.

Oklahoma offers aerospace firms several rewarding incentives including cash back for jobs created, tax credits/exemptions and a unique federal tax incentive. Oklahoma’s “cash back” advantage permits qualifying companies to get direct cash payments for up to 10 years for creating new jobs.

Oklahoma has a five-year ad valorem property tax exemption available for qualifying manufacturing companies. The state’s Aerospace Industry Engineer Workforce Act provides tax credits to engineers hired by aerospace companies and to the aerospace companies hiring engineers. Two-thirds of the state qualifies for federal accelerated property depreciations.

Companies receive recruiting, hiring and training assistance through the Training for Industry Program (TIP), which provides start-up training for virtually every industry sector. Oklahoma also offers property tax abatements for manufacturers and income tax credits and sales tax abatement refunds.

Oklahoma has so much to offer in the aerospace arena—a talented and technologically advanced workforce, a low cost of doing business, a quality lifestyle and a great location.  The state’s cost of doing business was recently ranked 10th lowest in the nation by the Milken Institute and has the fifth-lowest tax burden in the nation. The state’s standard of living is among the best in the nation with affordable housing, impressive spending power and a stable economy despite national trends. Oklahoma is equidistant between the East and West Coasts, Mexico and Canada, and located at the crossroads of 1-35, 1-40 and 1-44.

Additionally, the Oklahoma Aerospace Alliance advocates for the industry in Oklahoma. The group seeks to build an industry, government and education coalition that ensures the long-term health and growth of aerospace in the state. The association, which represents large and small corporations, monitors state and federal issues that may affect these aerospace companies.

City of Temecula: Aerospace Hub That Has It All

Temecula offers one of the finest life styles in Southern California. Vision, skillful planning, and high standards set by the city’s leadership have set Temecula apart from other communities. Temecula’s solid economic base, picturesque landscapes, state-of-the-art city facilities, quality and affordable housing, and thriving tourism climate, combined with a spirit of community involvement from its citizens, make Temecula an exceptional place for visitors, businesses, and residents.

The I-15 and I-215 freeway corridor connects Temecula with the Southern California metroplex.  Equidistant from San Diego and the Los Angeles—Orange Counties’ business centers, Temecula has become an attraction to progressive businesses seeking that unique location advantage away from the more costly and congested urban coastal counties. Temecula also has easy access to major ports of Southern California.

The rich diversity of businesses in Temecula provides the area with a stable economic foundation. From business start-ups to world-renowned corporations, the city is headquarters to a wide array of key industries, including: Aerospace, Biomedical/Biotech, Electronics, High-tech Manufacturing, Semiconductor, Telecommunications, Retail, and Tourism. Temecula’s cooperative, pro-business attitude makes this attractive and affordable environment the right place to live, work and conduct business.

Companies experience cost savings, a well-trained and educated labor force, and a family-oriented community with new upscale neighborhoods. Temecula companies also draw educated, skilled workers from the 23 institutions of higher learning located within an hour’s drive, including California State University San Marcos at Temecula campus, Chapman University College Inland Empire, Concordia University, University of Redlands, School of Business, and Mt. San Jacinto College, Temecula Education Complex.

CNC Manufacturing, a family-owned and operated business in Temecula since 1996 has over 50 years of combined experience, serving major aerospace leaders around the country. The company manufactures military aircraft parts and has existing contracts with such major prime contractors as the Boeing Company and Northrop Grumman. CNC provides all necessary certifications required by specific Government and Federal agencies, which places it on the cutting edge of the aerospace industry. The company is established as a sub-tier supplier to major part suppliers.

CNC Manufacturing is working with a process tracking system called “simpletrak” which give the company at competitive technology advantage, providing them the ability to track all of their on-time deliveries, calibration on all tools, corrective actions, document control, employee training, maintenance, customer surveys, and internal audits. Simpletrak also allows the company to complete a variety of reports that show system activity in several areas on comparison charts for their customer’s viewing.

QCM specializes in the design and manufacture of very high quality Quartz Crystal Microbalances, known as QCMs. These instruments are used in high technology laboratories around the world and in space for applications such as detecting contamination on optical surfaces, measuring outgassing, and determining constituents by means of thermogravimetric analysis.

The company’s QCMs have a long space flight history. One of the first QCMs they developed in 1965 was for use in space. The company has quite a number of flight units, both in space and being built for upcoming flight projects. In fact, they have a QCM on the JPL Mars Rover. The QCM on the JPL Mars Rover has a thin film of “sticky” polymer on the surface to hold small dust particles so that they may be measured. Some ultra-cleanrooms use QCMs to monitor particle contamination in real time. The “sticky” polymer has no effect on the sensitivity of the QCM.

One of Temecula’s pioneer business leaders is International Rectifier (IR). IR is a world leader in advanced power management technology, from digital, analog, and mixed-signal ICs to advanced circuit devices, power systems, and components. The world’s leading manufacturers of computers, appliances, automobiles, consumer electronics, and defense systems rely on IR technology to drive the performance and efficiency of their products.

IR’s latest product introductions provide a higher degree of value to customers seeking to optimize the performance of their power designs while simplifying and shortening their design cycles. IR’s iMOTION™ architecture offers engineers an alternative design platform for high performance digital motor drive design. It promises positive implications for today’s low-power AC drives, high-power industrial AC drives, high-performance servo applications, as well as emerging aerospace fly-by-wire and automotive drive-by-wire systems.

Helping businesses in Temecula grow and flourish is very important to the City of Temecula. Visit the city’s website at www.cityoftemecula.org for timesaving, self-service access to city-related transactions and valuable business information.

GTP: An  Emerging Leader in Aviation and Aerospace

The North Carolina Global TransPark (GTP) is a 2,400-acre industrial/airport site in Eastern North Carolina near Kinston. It has a long history of commitment to aviation and has now positioned itself to become a leading aviation and aerospace development site on the Eastern Seaboard. The GTP’s centerpiece is an 11,500 ft. x 150 ft. runway, control tower, and a terminal housing the Kinston Regional Jetport. An instrument landing system upgrade to Category III is underway and the ILS will serve one of the longest civilian runways in North Carolina.

The Global TransPark is located near most of the state’s major military installations, in particular the aviation facilities. Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is about 20 miles away; Pope Air Force Base and U.S. Marine Corps air facilities at Cherry Point and New River are within 75 miles. The GTP also is convenient to major ports at Morehead City and Wilmington, interstate highways, and rail connections.

The GTP offers a business-friendly environment, including a proven workforce, competitive utility rates, and a relatively low cost of living. There is access to world-class golf and other leisure activities, historical sites, nearby Raleigh and its Research Triangle, fine restaurants, shopping, and some of the nation’s best beaches within a short drive.

Among the GTP’s important coming additions is the park’s new direct rail access, consisting of 5.8 miles of track. Construction on the new spur, including a railway bridge and 10 roadway crossings, will begin in early 2010 and be finished no later than January, 2012.

The on-site railroad access gives the GTP a true multimodal transportation system consisting of air, land and rail options with easy access to the deep water ports on the nearby Atlantic Coast. It also is of interest to the GTP’s prospective tenants in the aerospace industry.

While designed to be of direct assistance for all current and prospective tenants, the new rail is part of the state-owned GTP’s commitment to Spirit AeroSystems, Inc., the world’s largest first-tier aerostructures manufacturer. From its production sites around the world, Spirit offers structural components, such as fuselage, propulsion, and wing systems for commercial, military, and business jet aircraft.

The Wichita-based supplier of aircraft components to both Boeing and Airbus (among several others), is now building a 500,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility on 300 acres at the GTP, set to open in 2010.
Spirit requires the new rail installation to transport large fuselage sections and wing spars to Morehead City. The parts will move by ship to France, where they will be used in the construction of the A350 extra-wide-body Airbus jetliner.

Another important differentiator for the GTP is the park’s Foreign-Trade Zone #214, a general-purpose zone for warehouse and distribution activities. The zone is divided among three general-purpose sites including the Kinston Regional Jetport, and two others near Rocky Mount about 50 miles north.

The general purpose site at the airport is an attractive option for tenants, since goods can be brought in by ground, air, and by rail in 2012 when the rail access is completed.  General purpose sites pay off when a company trades internationally.  Goods can be shipped from overseas to one of the GTP’s general-purpose sites and warehoused; no tariff would be required until the material enters U.S. commerce.

An FTZ offers even greater incentives for manufacturers. A U.S.-based manufacturer could bring foreign-sourced parts or materials into the zone, pay no duty, incorporate those goods into a finished product using U.S. parts and labor, and, if the finished product enters U.S. commerce, pay duty only on the value of the foreign non-duty-paid content.

While Spirit AeroSystems is assuredly the GTP’s anchor tenant with its massive physical installation and future employment impact, the coming of Spirit in the summer of 2008 continued a history of aviation/aerospace linkage to the Global TransPark. The GTP is already an aerospace/aviation destination and includes the following tenants:

Segrave Aviation is among North Carolina’s leaders in general aviation.  Segrave Aviation’s charter service is one of 30 such operations in the country that has obtained the Aviation Research Group/U.S. Platinum rating.

New Breed is a third-party logistics company with close links to the aviation industry. Some of the world’s most respected companies rely on New Breed’s logistics operations in support of manufacturing, distribution, returns, refurbishment and repair, service parts logistics, and transportation management.

Commerce Overseas Corporation (COC) is a leader in supply chain management solutions for military aircraft customers throughout the world. COC provides value-added spare parts solutions to a global customer base.

Spatial Integrated Systems develops innovative digital 3D data-capture technologies. It includes the Department of Defense among its partners and customers.

Darlene Waddell, executive director of the GTP, observes, “With the addition of Sprit AeroSystems, along with our aviation and aerospace involvement over the years, I believe that a new era has opened for the GTP and Eastern North Carolina.  And that era will be marked by our commitment to aviation and aerospace.”

Wichita, Kansas: Site of Choice for Aviation

Wichita hosts the world’s best known aviation cluster, and is often referred to as the “Air Capital of the World.” Aircraft and aircraft components have been built with Wichita expertise and craftsmanship for nearly 90 years. Wichita offers one of the largest aerospace labor pools and supplier networks in the world. According to a Milken Institute study, Wichita has the highest concentration of aerospace manufacturing employment and skills in the nation. About 57 percent of Wichita metro area manufacturing employment (61,700)—or some 35,400 persons—is in aerospace products and parts.

The Wichita area hosts four OEMs (Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, Bombardier Learjet, Cessna Aircraft and Hawker Beechcraft). Wichita also is home to an Airbus Engineering Design Center. In 2008, Wichita companies delivered 59 percent of all general aviation aircraft built in the United States, and accounted for 46 percent of global general aviation deliveries. Located in Wichita is some of the most specialized equipment in the world for metal and composite material fabrication. Decades of aircraft production has built a  network of more than 200 precision machine shops, tool and die shops, and other aerospace subcontract manufacturers. There are more than 40 Boeing-certified gold and silver suppliers within a 200-mile radius. Those leading edge suppliers include Spirit AeroSystems, the world’s largest independent producer of commercial aircraft structures. Wichita firms either directly manufacture, or provide critical components for, more than half of all general aviation, commercial and military aircraft. Industry-specific business advantages for aviation manufacturing include exemption of commercial aircraft and components from all sales taxes (including wet leases), liberal fly-away exemption, and no excise tax on jet fuel and aviation gas.

Wichita is the global center of composites expertise. South Central Kansas hosts a rapidly developing industrial cluster of firms in the field of advanced or “engineered” materials (composites) and polymers (advanced plastics and elastomers.) Wichita’s involvement with composite aircraft component design and fabrication goes back over 25 years to development of the all-composite Beechcraft Starship and Raytheon Premier business jets, Boeing-Wichita’s development of composite nacelles and struts, and Cessna’s development of proprietary composite technology.

Wichita’s expertise in advanced materials also has wide application outside of the aerospace industry. Advanced materials are being used in medical devices, automotive components, wind turbines, marine applications, construction materials, machinery, scientific instrumentation, and consumer products. The Wichita region has an expanding group of companies utilizing advanced materials. In addition to aerospace applications—products include military and consumer items, such as infantry armor, and even bicycle frames.

National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University was founded in 1985, and is the largest aerospace applied research and development academic institution in the nation. NIAR’s 120,000 square foot facility houses 15 advanced research and testing labs, including several wind tunnels. NIAR has full-time staff of over 200 researchers, including 60 at the PhD level. NIAR provides applied research into advanced materials and composites, 3-D prototyping, aerodynamics, aircraft ageing, aircraft icing, crash dynamics, and other fields critical to aircraft design and manufacturing. NIAR has been appointed by the Federal Aviation Administration as lead institution of the Center of Excellence in Composites & Advanced Materials (CECAM), which has been designated by NASA and the FAA to develop national standards for aircraft composites. NIAR accounts for more than 70 percent of FAA-related composite research spending.

In order to assure a steady supply of qualified workers for the regional aerospace industry, Sedgwick County Technical Education and Training Authority (SCTETA) is developing the $54-million, 222,000- square-foot National Center for Aviation Training. NCAT will be a world-class aviation manufacturing training center on the grounds of Jabara Airport in northeast Wichita. NCAT will have capacity to provide technical training for at least 1,300 students. NCAT facilities will allow realistic hands-on training on the latest aircraft manufacturing equipment, including a composites materials lab and an autoclave for heat-curing aviation plastics.

NCAT will also incorporate new facilities for WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research. NIAR will have NCAT facilities dedicated to CATIA training, composites research, non-destructive inspection, and advanced joining technologies. NCAT-NIAR partnership will allow NIAR to develop new materials and techniques in the lab, and then rapidly train workers in how to use them. This combination will expedite bringing new technologies to the factory production floor. Groundbreaking occurred in March 2008, and classes will begin in the spring of 2010

Operational Affordability and Infrastructure are Key

Aerospace related companies looking at Wichita will find a wealth of talented, trained, and disciplined workers, a community and governmental entities that understand and support the industry’s importance to the state and the region, and an impressive complex of state-of-the-art manufacturing and service facilities plus land, infrastructure, incentives, and resources.

Based on all of the above, Wichita can rightfully retain its claim to be “The Air Capital of the World” on the basis of all of the aviation-related resources it offers to the world.

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