Aerospace, Aviation, Security & Defense

Intl. Airports
Within a 45-miles
Within a 1 hour drive
Industry Subsectors
With location quotients of over 2.0

Aerospace, Aviation, Security & Defense

Your business will take off in the Texas Innovation Corridor. The region features an aerospace industry comprised of subsectors related to the development of aerospace products, equipment, and the components needed for assembly, as well as air transportation and support activities, including security & defense operations.

The region has clear strengths due to the presence of major employers within the sector, as well as a prime location between two major international airports (Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to the north; San Antonio International Airport to the south).

Skilled & Growing

With over 2,000 employees in the two-county region, aerospace products and parts manufacturing are the largest subsector within the industry. The industry has grown significantly in terms of regional employment over the last 10 years, more than doubling while national employment in equivalent subsectors grew by only 10 percent. Local competitive characteristics in Hays and Caldwell Counties (as opposed to national factors) contributed to job growth in all Aerospace business sectors. This is a positive finding because it speaks to opportunities to leverage these factors for additional regional growth. Within a one hour drive, the local industry workforce has increased to over 76,000 in the past 10 years.

Data Source: JobsEQ 2020 Annual

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Location Quotients
Aerospace Cluster

Data suggests that the Aerospace target in Hays and Caldwell is starting to develop into a cluster. Four sub sectors have location quotients double the employment concentration in the average U.S. community: nonscheduled air transportation (8.01), engine, turbine, and power transmission equipment manufacturing (2.30), other electrical equipment and component manufacturing (5.53), and aerospace product and parts manufacturing (2.30).

Data Source: JobsEQ 2020 Annual

Key Aerospace Advantages
Research University Collaboration

Thriving Aerospace clusters typically require close proximity to research universities with strengths in fields including engineering, advanced materials, and aeronautics. This provides not only long-term research and development partnership opportunities, but also professional development options for existing and future workers.

Within its College of Science and Engineering, Texas State University offers multiple undergraduate and graduate degrees related to the fields of aerospace, aviation and defense.  Austin Community College’s Hays County campus also offers courses that may have applicability or can ultimately support the Aerospace sector. In addition to these programs, employers can draw from recent graduates from nearby research institutions: University of Texas-Austin and University of Texas-San Antonio. 

Partnerships between universities and industry often provide foundations for aerospace equipment manufacturers, prime defense contractors, or other large employers to attract federally funded research centers or heavily influence existing research centers or vice versa. Through these partnerships, funded academic research can lead to innovative developments in technology and information, which can be used to improve processes and end products.

Prime Available Land & FTZ

The centrally located San Marcos Regional Airport has 1,340 acres of developable land, marking it as the most available aerospace industry location in the Texas Innovation Corridor.

The airport also has a 40-acre Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) Magnet Site where businesses can locate and be eligible to take advantage of duty and ad valorem tax exemptions on goods shipped there.

Two International Airports

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

The two-county footprint is in close proximity to Austin’s major international airport, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA). With a recently approved 2040 Master Plan as an expanded vision for the future of the airport, designed to accommodate aggressive growth at the airport as total aircraft operations are forecast to increase to 296,428 aircraft operations in 2037, representing an average annual growth rate of 2.1 percent. 

The high-case scenario assumes future development of an e-commerce distribution center at ABIA, as well as many additional opportunities for the region's suppliers and distributors.

San Antonio International Airport

Additionally, within a 45-mile radius is San Antonio International Airport (SAT), an airport that sees more than 10 million passengers and 160,000 aircraft operations annually. More than 277 million pounds of cargo move through SAT each year, serving significant commercial needs.

SAT is also undergoing a long-term development plan, providing upgrades to its runways and terminals as part of a 20-year Master Plan. Phase 2 of an updated Strategic Development Plan (SDP) is expected to be finalized in 2021.

San Marcos Regional Airport

As the designated “reliever” facility for San Antonio’s and Austin’s international airports, the San Marcos Regional Airport is the largest general aviation airport in the area.

The Texas Innovation Corridor has enhanced transportation access, exiting infrastructure, and technology capacity thanks to the airport's staffed air traffic control tower, three asphalt runways exceeding 5,200 feet, a 100-foot wide parking ramp, executive hangars, security fencing, and on-site fixed-base operator in Texas Aviation Partners.

The airport also has a 40-acre Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) Magnet Site where businesses can locate and be eligible to take advantage of duty and ad valorem tax exemptions on goods shipped there, as well as 17 currently operating businesses.

Nearby Military Presence

The Texas Innovation Corridor is also in close proximity to San Antonio’s world-class aerospace assets, which include two active air force bases: Lackland AFB, the Air Force’s largest training wing, and Randolph AFB, the headquarters for Air Education and Training Command. Port San Antonio, a 1,900-acre Foreign Trade Zone-designated aerospace complex, is nearby with nearly eight million square feet of leased facilities. The port houses over 80 private and public organizations focused on aerospace, logistics, manufacturing, government, and military as well as hangars, warehouses, training centers, and workforce housing.

In Austin, the headquarters for Army Futures Command (AFC) has a strong presence in the military and defense industry. The AFC is a public-private initiative establishing a soldier-led software unit to develop technology for Army modernization projects. Austin is also home to Camp Mabry, which contains the Joint Force Headquarters of the Texas Military Forces and office of the Adjutant General of Texas. It is also home to Texas Army National Guard, Texas Air National Guard and Texas State Guard headquarters.

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