The list of aviation, aerospace and space exploration activities is constantly growing and evolving, and the Alliance corridor continues to attract the next level of industry innovation. The region is involved in a range of activities, including aircraft manufacturing, space flight, space tourism, propulsion systems, military aviation, unmanned aerial vehicles, robotics, aerial weapons, high-performance materials, advanced manufacturing as well as research, development, testing and evaluation.
- Rocket and jet engine testing
- Rocket engine, satellite assembly
- Unmanned aerial system manufacturing
- Jetliner final assembly lines
- Maintenance, repair and overhaul
- Applied geospatial technologies
- Human-machine cognition research
- Advanced manufacturing research
Nearly $2.5 billion in aerospace equipment and parts exported in 2019
600+ MROs in the state, making it #1 in the nation
2.2 million square feet of manufacturing space under one roof at the Michoud Assembly Facility, making it one of the largest manufacturing facilities in the world
Mississippi tests rocket engines, builds helicopters and drones, and trains military pilots
Aerospace & Aviation
The Alliance’s aerospace and aviation corridor is home to an impressive variety of research, manufacturing, testing and operational facilities and prominent companies such as Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, L3 Technologies and Leonardo DRS, which have all found success in the region’s assets. The four states combined represent 8.4 percent of the nation’s aerospace and defense workforce according to the Aerospace Industries Association. The region is also home to an entrepreneur ecosystem facilitated by incubators and accelerators for major corporations. Tech-savvy and eager for disruption, the region’s next generation of talent is challenging the status quo with businesses that leverage digitalization and innovative customer models. With a depth of existing industry, a skilled workforce with a growing talent pipeline and bottom-line tax advantages, the region’s cluster will continue to grow.
Aerospace & Aviation State Profiles
Alabama is home to 4,000+ aerospace engineers in the state, ranking 5th in the nation.
$6.8 billion in annual Florida aviation and aerospace exports.
Louisiana Economic Development’s FastStart® is the nation’s best state workforce training program, according to Business Facilities magazine.
Home of the nation’s largest rocket engine test complex at the John C. Stennis Space Center
The heart of the $345 billion global space industry lies within the Aerospace Alliance region where four of NASA’s most significant and historic space centers, Kennedy, Marshall and Stennis as well as the Michoud Assembly Facility reside. The facilities along with private industry are designing and building the new space frontier from launch facilities to manufacturing, from space tourism to rocket testing – the future is happening in America’s Gulf Coast.
Today, the space industry operates on the cutting edge and requires a highly skilled, highly trained workforce to build, test, launch and utilize space assets. The Aerospace Alliance is home to that talent and continues to grow and attract the workforce of the future. But beyond talent, the region has maintained and protected the land and infrastructure assets that made it home to the space industry nearly 75 years ago. The availability of large tracts of land and interconnected waterways needed to transport large space vehicles along with longer periods of fair-weather flying continue to attract investments to the states today.
We are excited to partner with the Mississippi Development Authority to bring our patented 3D printing rocket platform to Hancock county. We look forward to working together to bring more innovation, economic development and job growth to the Gulf Coast and progressing American space leadership. The integration of our 3D printing rocket production and testing facilities on one site will enable Relativity to offer greater flexibility to commercial and government entities needing faster, more frequent and lower cost access to space.
Jordan Noone, Cofounder and CTO of Relativity
Military & Defense
The Aerospace Alliance region is one of the most military friendly regions in the nation, a place where the roar of a jet or distant rumble of exploded munitions are considered the sounds of freedom. Every military branch is represented in activities that range from training to logistics.
But beyond the military bases exists a workforce with the right mix of technical and soft skills to help industries succeed – veterans. The four-state region is home to more than one million veterans and more than 18,000 exiting military members each year. This skilled workforce offers bottom-line advantages from less turnover to reduced training costs.
Industry leaders understand the benefits of locating near a military installation. From access to partnerships, the region’s military assets serve as a foundation to many of the Industry clusters while enhancing national security. In 2019 alone, the four states accounted for more than $41 billion in defense related contracts according to the Department of Defense.
Eglin Air Force Base – Florida
A 724-square-mile reservation spanning three counties and more than 134,000 miles of air space and 123,000 miles of water range, Eglin Air Force Base facilities are used by every branch of the military. Eglin is home of the Air Force’s aerial weapons program, where non-nuclear aerial weapons systems are developed, managed, maintained and tested.
Keesler Air Force Base – Mississippi
Biloxi is home of the Air Force’s 81st Training Wing and one of the Air Force’s largest technical schools, where more than 2.2 million students have graduated since 1942. Some 20,000-25,000 students go through the system annually. The base is also home to the 403rd Reserve Wing, whose Weather Reconnaissance Squadron is known far and wide as the “Hurricane Hunters.”
Fort Rucker – Alabama
Camp Rucker is the primary flight training base for Army aviation – including the Army Aviation Center of Excellence. The base has been home to all Army aviation training since 1973, including the training of Air Force and allied helicopter pilots and air crew. The center of excellence is home to the U.S. Army Aviation Technical Test Center, which conducts developmental aircraft testing.
Barksdale Air Force Base – Louisiana
Barksdale is an award-winning base that is home to warrior Airmen of the 2nd Bomb Wing, Air Force Global Strike Command, 8th Air Force, 307th Bomb Wing, and a host of mission partners dedicated to providing strategic deterrence, global strike and combat support. The bomb wing provides global combat capability and trains all Air Force Global Strike Command and Air Force Reserve B-52 crews.