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Aerospace & Aviation

Aerospace & Aviation In Alabama

Alabama has a rich history in aerospace and aviation — an industry that took off on our soil more than a century ago. Ever since the Wright Brothers established the nation’s first civilian flight school in Montgomery back in 1910, Alabama has provided a steady launchpad for companies and organizations involved in flight. Aerospace manufacturing alone accounts for around 13,200 jobs in the state, while Alabama also ranks among the Top 5 states for aerospace engineers. Dallas County is also known as one of the top counties in Alabama with a high concentration of aerospace workers.

Over 300 aerospace companies from more than 30 different countries have chosen Alabama, including industry giants such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, GE Aviation, Raytheon and GKN Aerospace. Another of these giants is Airbus, which produces its A320 Family passenger jets at a $600 million manufacturing facility in Mobile, where it is also adding a second production line for A220 aircraft.

Military Aerospace & Aviation

In addition to private companies, Alabama also has a strong military aerospace and aviation presence. Located in Southeast Alabama, Fort Rucker serves as the training center for U.S. Army helicopter pilots. In Huntsville, Redstone Arsenal is a major research, engineering, and test center that houses the Army’s critical missile defense and aviation programs. The Arsenal is also home to the Marshall Space Flight Center, one of NASA’s largest and most historic facilities. Another aerospace cluster is developing in the Mobile area around the Airbus assembly line.

Training Programs

Alabama’s comprehensive aerospace and aviation presence also includes an extensive roster of training programs and assets. AIDT’s Robotics Technology Park near Decatur offers specialized training in robotics and automation programs, and AIDT operates an aviation training center in Mobile. In addition, the Alabama Community College System’s Alabama Aviation Center, which has several locations across the state, offers FAA-certified training in airframe and engine maintenance.

Craig Field in Selma, Dallas County

From the very beginning, Craig had a reputation for innovation and pioneering. The facility continues that legacy today serving Dallas County as the Craig Field Airport and Industrial Park, one of our 4 industrial parks. Operated by the Craig Field Airport and Industrial Authority (CFAIA), this 2,200- acre complex is complete with paved roads, utilities, fire protection, perimeter fencing, and rail access. Central to the complex is the general purpose airport, with a newly-renovated 10,000 ft. lighted runway (capable of handling C-130 and 747/777 sized aircraft) new hangars, and 70 acres of tie downs.

Advantages

  • All infrastructure in place
  • Recently updated hangars
  • Workforce available
  • Incentives available
  • 70-acre parking apron with tie downs
  • 8,000 ft. runway with 1,000-foot overruns
  • Located near Maxwell AFB War College
  • On-site Rail
  • FAA Approved Fencing
  • ILS, AWOS, GPS & NDB Approaches
  • Onsite Fire Department with Crash & Rescue
  • PAPI lighting system

Quick Facts

  • 100+ years of aerospace and aviation history
  • 61,000+ employed in aerospace and defense
  • 4,660 aerospace engineers (Top 5 in US)
  • Home to businesses from 30 countries
  • 2nd largest research and technology park in the U.S. (Cummings Research Park)
  • More than 300 aerospace companies
  • Aerospace manufacturing employed 13,200 in 2019
  • Nearly $2.4 billion in aerospace equipment and parts exported in 2018
  • More than $8.4 billion in Department of Defense contracts in FY 2015