The Georgia Center of Innovation for Aerospace provides the technical industry expertise, and personal connections to support collaborative research and business partnerships to help the industry connect, compete and grow. The Center advances recognition of Georgia’s strength in the global aerospace industry and contributes to the entrepreneurial and educational ecosystems required for the industry’s continued growth.
Home to more than 500 aerospace companies and a total workforce of more than 85,000, the state leverages the expertise of the air transportation, manufacturing and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) sectors of aerospace. The Center of Innovation for Aerospace is a resource, helping existing industry members connect, compete and grow through various business services, outreach and expertise.
Georgia ranked 3rd in aerospace manufacturing attractiveness based on Price Waterhouse Cooper ‘s 2016 Aerospace Manufacturing Attractiveness Rankings. With major manufacturers like Lockheed Martin and Gulfstream Aerospace, aerospace products were the number one international export of the state at $8.44 billion in 2014 ranking Georgia 4th among U.S. States. Aircraft and Engine Parts continue to be a vital part of this industry cluster with companies like Pratt & Whitney, Triumph Aerostructures, and PCC Airfoils continuing to find success as they grow and expand here. Georgia also has great strengths in the commercial and general aviation aircraft industry with Thrush Aircraft and Maule Air Inc. in the Southern part of the state.
The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (2016) ranks Georgia fourth in their rankings of the most MRO employment in the U.S. In total, the state has more than 30,000 MRO employees split between civilian and military operations.
Delta Tech Ops is the largest MRO in North America, and the U.S. Air Force Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex is one of the largest military depots. In addition to these two mega repair sites, HAECO, StandardAero and Stambaugh Aviation also have thriving MRO enterprises in the state.
Georgia’s 104 public airports contribute more than 470,000 jobs and $60 billion in statewide total economic impact. As the world’s most traveled airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) keeps companies competitive with unparalleled global access for passengers and cargo. Every day, 2,500 flights arrive and depart from ATL and the airport is a strategic gateway with direct flights to more than 70 international destinations in 50 countries.
The state benefits from more than $50 million annually in focused aerospace research through the Georgia Institute of Technology, Mercer University’s Mercer Engineering Research Center, and Middle Georgia State University. Georgia has five engineering schools offering a wide variety of degrees that support the aerospace industry.
At the forefront of emerging technology, the Center works with partners in Georgia’s university system, innovative small companies, and the Federal Aviation Administration to position Georgia as the leader in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Companies can gain access to a number of research facilities for testing of various applications including the state’s No. 1 industry, agriculture as well as public safety, infrastructure inspection and photography.
Commercial space launch and its supporting operations offer Georgia companies ample areas of opportunity. The Center acts as the catalyst for this industry cluster through the Georgia Space Working Group, an informal network of people from academia, small innovative companies and the business world to create a new space related ecosystem in Georgia. As Camden County continues their process of authorization for a Spaceport to launch spacecraft, there is potential for growth in this industry along Georgia’s coastal region.