Industry Overview

More than 265 aerospace firms call Virginia home, drawn here by a skilled workforce, strong economic growth, pro-business environment and excellent quality of life. Virginia's role in the aerospace industry dates back to 1917, when the nation’s first civil aeronautics laboratory was established in Hampton - it is now known as the NASA Langley Research Center.

Global aerospace leader Rolls-Royce is ramping up its new Crosspointe campus in Prince George County, which includes multiple manufacturing facilities, aerospace suppliers and a world-class applied research collaborative, the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM).

In the past 10 years, 71 aerospace industry projects have been announced, creating over 6,396 new jobs and generating investments worth more than $1.8 billion. Discover what hundreds of companies already know: Aerospace takes flight in Virginia.

Virginia's Aerospace Industry

  • Employs over 29,000 workers in Virginia
  • Consists of 270 firms, with the aerospace technology (103 firms) and other aerospace (74 firms) sectors accounting for 66% of all aerospace firms
  • Virginia ranks 1st in the nation for U.S. Department of Defense Prime Contracts ($33.7 billion in FY 2015)
  • To view the complete Aerospace Industry Profile, click here

Key Companies

  • Aerojet
  • Airbus
  • Alcoa Howmet
  • Analytic Services
  • Aurora Flight Services
  • BAE Systems
  • Boeing
  • Dynamic Aviation
  • Euro Composites
  • General Dynamics

  • Goodyear Tire & Rubber
  • L-3
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Moog
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Orbital Sciences
  • Raytheon
  • Rockwell Collins
  • Rolls-Royce
  • The Aerospace Corporation

Assets/Virginia Advantages

  • Virginia’s central East Coast location and premier transportation network allow companies to reach customers anywhere in the world with ease.
  • Virginia’s corporate income tax rate of 6% hasn’t changed since 1972. Companies also benefit from tax exemptions on purchases of machinery, tools, replacement parts and raw materials used in production, as well as all utilities delivered through pipes, mains and lines for any purpose. Virginia also do not tax accounts receivable, inventory, computer software or other intangibles.
  • Workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance are among the lowest in the nation. The unemployment tax burden is approximately 20% lower than the national average, and right-to-work laws allow individuals to work regardless of membership in a labor union.
  • Virginia offers low electricity rates, state-of-the-art utilities and telecommunications infrastructure, and construction costs nearly 14% lower than the national average.
  • Virginia is home to numerous aerospace R&D facilities, including:
    • Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing
    • Commonwealth Center for Aerospace Propulsion Systems
    • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
    • Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport
    • NASA Langley Research Center
    • NASA Wallops Flight Facility
    • National Center for Hypersonic Combined Cycle Propulsion
    • National Institute of Aerospace
    • Old Dominion University Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
    • University of Virginia
    • Aerospace Research Laboratory
    • Rotating Machinery and Controls Laboratory
    • Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center
    • Virginia Space Grant Consortium
    • Virginia Tech's Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering
  • Virginia Tech and the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership were named one of the FAA's six UAS test sites.
  • Virginia is home to the Pentagon and 19 defense installations.
  • Virginia’s air transportation sector employs more than 20,800 people and features nine commercial airports, including Washington Dulles International (IAD) and Reagan National (DCA). All major commercial carriers serve Virginia, providing non-stop flights to 137 destinations around the world. Virginia is home to 47 FAA Repair Stations across the state, and the MRO sector in Virginia employs almost 1,400 people.
  • Aircraft Sales and Use Exemption is for companies headquartered in Virginia which make a minimum of a $4 million capital investment in Virginia and create at least 50 new jobs in Virginia.
  • Zero G Zero Tax provides an exemption from state income taxes to any space transportation company doing business in Virginia with the intent to either launch payloads from MARS or conduct spaceflight training.
  • Aviation Week & Space Technology ranks Virginia Tech as one of the best universities for aerospace employee recruitment.
  • Thousands of highly trained, disciplined and motivated military personnel in Virginia enter the civilian labor force each year.
  • Dulles is Virginia’s largest airport and provides international and domestic services for passengers and cargo. The cargo sector offers great growth potential as Dulles continues to expand its facilities.
  • The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM) is an applied research center that bridges the gap between fundamental research typically performed at universities and product development routinely performed by companies. CCAM’s core research areas are Surface Engineering & Manufacturing Systems.


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