Oklahoma Department of Commerce Leads Delegation to one of World’s largest Aerospace Gathering to Promote Oklahoma’s Aerospace and UAS Sectors

Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, May 2013 – The Oklahoma Department of Commerce’s foreign direct investment team has formally announced the state’s participation at the upcoming Paris Airshow taking place outside of Paris, June 17-23, 2013.  The delegation will be led by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and Secretary of Science and Technology, Dr. Stephen McKeever.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase Oklahoma’s value proposition and the many business factors that make Oklahoma a top destination for the global aerospace industry,” said McKeever. “When companies considering expansion into North America evaluate the market options, they’ll find Oklahoma’s proposition and the differentiators that make our market unique, extremely compelling.

McKeever said Oklahoma has the infrastructure and policies in place that make the state a global center of excellence in aerospace and Unmanned Aerial Systems.

Aerospace is one of Oklahoma’s largest industry sectors, employing more than 143,000 people at more than 500 companies and is home to both the largest military (Tinker Air Force Base) and commercial Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Centers (American Airlines) in the world. According to a study by the Oklahoma Aerospace Industry Partners, the global MRO market is projected to grow from $45 billion in 2009 to more than $68 billion in 2019. Today, Oklahoma is already one of the seven main centers in the world for MRO.

In addition, Oklahoma has become THE PLACE in the United States for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) both for commercial and military applications. Oklahoma is home to the only UAS Testing and Training Facility in the United States dedicated solely to the UAS marketplace. The state also has the first university graduate degree in UAS at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater and is the only place in the U.S. that offers restricted airspace for commercial UAS testing.

“We’re targeting European and other global aerospace commercial and military companies because our industry assets and the incentives we offer make Oklahoma an extremely competitive investment destination,” said Governor Fallin.”When looking at what sets Oklahoma apart from other investment destinations, the differentiators are our state government’s willingness to work closely with the companies looking to invest and industry related R&D activity.”

By establishing tax incentives targeted towards aerospace professionals and companies such as The Aerospace Engineering Tax Credit, state officials hope to capture a large share of this growth. This credit provides a $5,000 per year tax credit to engineers hired into the aerospace industry as well as gives the companies that hire them a 10 percent credit for hiring in-state graduates and a 5 percent credit for hiring from other states. Already, Oklahoma is starting to reap the benefits of its economic development strategy. In 2011 Boeing announced that it was going to relocate 550 jobs to Oklahoma City from Long Beach, CA and in 2012 they announced that an additional 1000 jobs would be created to support the new U.S. Air Force Tanker aircraft.  Also Umicore, a Belgian aerospace company opened in 2011 a new manufacturing facility in Quapaw, OK which created over 100 jobs and announced plans in 2012 to consolidate their global wafer manufacturing operations at the OK facility.
Oklahoma companies that will be part of the delegation include:

-       Enviro Systems Inc.

-       Pro-Fab, Inc.

-       Spectrumfx, Inc.

-       Janeway Machine Inc.

-       Design Intelligence Incorporated, LLC

-       Choctaw Defense

-       Vertical Aerospace

-       Oklahoma State University – University Multispectral Laboratories