Aviation and Aerospace

Aviation and Aerospace

5 reasons why greater okc is perfect for aerospaceRead the 2020 Greater Oklahoma City Region Aerospace StudyAerospace Engineer Tax Credit new interactive feature: the OKC aerospace story


What's NEw in general OKC aerospace:

  • North Star Scientific (NSS) Corporation, a Hawaii-based company, has announced plans to expand to Oklahoma City. Read More>>
  • Boeing started construction on a new high-bay addition to its facility. The $20 million, 60,770 square-foot addition will include a wing and fuselage from a retired U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber, allowing the company’s engineers to utilize it for hands-on form, fit and function testing. This project and others at Boeing OKC will create openings for more than 300 engineers in 2020. Read More>>
  • Skydweller Aero, a U.S.-Spanish aerospace company developing renewably powered aircraft for defense and commercial industries, announced that OKC will be the home of its U.S. corporate headquarters. Plans are for the company to have 120 aerospace engineering and field technician jobs in Oklahoma City. Read More>>
  • Pratt & Whitney (P&W) announced a multi-million dollar investment to upgrade its Military Aftermarket Services at Tinker Air Force Base, creating 100 new jobs in the coming years. Read More>>
  • Kratos Defense & Security Solutions opened a 100,000-square-foot unmanned aircraft production facility where it will build its Firejet and Valkyrie advanced aircraft. Read More>>

How can we help you?

The Greater Oklahoma City Partnership assists aviation and aerospace companies who are expanding their operations and considering the region for a new investment. Our business development and research teams can help you with data collection, site selection, incentive requirements and other areas of need for your evaluation process. For questions or assistance, please contact: 

Jeff Seymour
Executive Vice President, Economic Development

Roots in the Air

In Oklahoma City, aerospace is not an upstart industry or a hope for the future. Aviation is in our DNA. Since Wiley Post, a native Oklahoman, made history with the first solo flight around the world in 1933, Oklahoma has been on the cutting edge of aviation.

The numbers speak for themselves with more than 290 public- and private-sector aviation and aerospace firms in OKC that employee more than 43,250 workers and the production of $11.6 billion in goods and services.

The story of aerospace in Oklahoma City is more than raw numbers and size. The story of aerospace in Oklahoma City is also about diversity.

Private Sector Growth

The biggest names in aerospace have operations in Oklahoma City, including Boeing AerospacePratt & WhitneyLockheed Martin AircraftNorthrop GrummanGeneral Electric Aviation, Field Aerospace and AAR Aircraft Services. But the region’s aerospace activities are also evolving into high-growth areas like unmanned systems, where Kratos Defense & Space Solutions is establishing a strategic hub.

The Unmanned Systems Division of San Diego-based Kratos recently opened a 100,000 square-foot production facility to build its Firejet and Valkyrie unmanned aircraft. 

Meanwhile, Oklahoma City is continuing to develop as a key hub for aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) operations, thanks in large part to the presence of Tinker Air Force Base. Recent estimates indicate that 78 companies employ more than 4,700 workers for these services in the Greater Oklahoma City region. These firms produce $1.3 billion in total output of goods and services annually and provide more than $370 million in labor income to employees.

Tinker Air Force Base
The heart of aerospace in the region is Tinker Air Force Base and the men and women who complete the missions assigned to the base. Tinker is the largest single-site employer in the state and contributes more than $3 billion to the local economy annually.

Since 1941, when the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber spearheaded the donation of the first 1,440 acres for the base, Tinker and Oklahoma City have supported each other.

Today, with more than 26,000 military and civilian employees, Tinker is the largest single-site employer in Oklahoma. The installation has an annual statewide economic impact of $3.6 billion, creating an estimated 33,000 secondary jobs. The installation covers nine square miles and has 760 buildings with a building floor space of more than 15 million square feet.

Construction is underway on a depot maintenance facility that will service the KC-46A Pegasus, the military’s next generation aerial refueling aircraft. The $500-million facility is expected to lead to the creation of more than 1,300 new, high-paying jobs and open up even more potential for public-private partnerships and advantages for aerospace companies.

The Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center at Tinker is the nation’s largest aircraft and jet engine repair center. All U.S. Air Force engines are repaired at the ALC. It is also the primary maintenance center for bombers, refuelers and reconnaissance aircraft including the E-3 AWACS, C/KC-135, KC- 10, B-1, B-2 and B-52.

The 2.5-million-square-foot Tinker Aerospace Complex is a former General Motors plant that now houses some of the 76th Maintenance Wing operations and other Department of Defense (DOD) workloads. The complex, considered the most advanced aviation and aerospace manufacturing and production facility in the world, is the result of a $54-million bond issue passed by voters and more than $50 million in renovations by the Air Force.

Tinker is also home to six major Department of Defense, Air Force and Navy activities with critical national defense missions. In recent years, several new state of-the-art facilities have come to fruition, demonstrating once again the incredible partnership among officials, citizens and corporations statewide.

Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center
Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center is the central training facility in the U.S. for the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The center trains more than 20,000 students from across the world each year.

The Monroney Center was established in 1946 as a centralized training and logistics facility and has since expanded to serve as a multi-tenant campus employing more than 5,400 federal civilian workers and contractors. The highly-skilled workers here provide training and logistics services and other aviation safety-related and business support products and services. The center is home to the highest concentration of FAA civil servants and contractors in one location outside of Washington D.C.

Will Rogers World Airport
The hub of Oklahoma City’s aviation industry is Will Rogers World Airport – with approximately 10,000 employees and 67 tenants, including the Federal Transfer Center, ARINC, Metro Tech Aviation Career Center and Southwest Airlines Reservation Center – as well as Oklahoma City’s Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ).

WRWA offers nonstop air service to 26 airports in 23 cities in the U.S., including West and East coast cities. Visit flyokc.com to learn more.

A recent $110-million renovation nearly doubled the size of the terminal, expanding and updating amenities to make traveling as effortless and enjoyable as possible for the 3.7 million passengers it serves every year.

More than 1,000 acres at Will Rogers World Airport has been designated for multi-use, multi-industry development. Lariat Landing serves to complement the airport by providing development opportunities for direct aviation and aviation support businesses as well as retail space and additional office space. Aviation companies Field Aerospace, SkyWest and Atlantic Aviation all currently have operations at Lariat Landing. 

Oklahoma City’s aerospace sector is as varied as it is large. In Oklahoma City, aviation is our business.

A Look at the Industry in our Region

The Greater Oklahoma City Chamber recently commissioned a study on the breadth and impact of Aerospace on the Greater Oklahoma City region. To learn more about this study, contact:

Kim Wilmes
Vice President of Economic Development Programs

Now available: Greater Oklahoma City regional aerospace directory
Need a password? Contact us!

Watch the recent webinar "How federal installations serve as the catalysts for the dynamic Oklahoma City aerospace hub"featuring representatives from the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center, Kratos Unmanned System Divisions, Skydweller Aero and Northrop Grumman discussing Greater Oklahoma City as an aviation hub

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