Aerospace & Defense

person in front of airplane


Arizona is home to more than 1,200 aerospace and defense companies, including major industry players such as Boeing, Bombardier Aerospace, General Dynamics, Honeywell Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Orbital Sciences, Raytheon Missile Systems, and the hundreds of small and mid-sized suppliers they support.

Together, these companies significantly impact Arizona's overall economy - employing more than 52,000 people directly. Numbers that reflect Arizona’s long-standing history with leading names in the industry - companies whose continued success in everything from unmanned aircraft systems to missiles, space vehicles to commercial aircraft and research into alternative fuels - drives further future growth.

Together, with a less regulating state government, lower cost of doing business, competitive cost of living, top research programs, skilled workforce and optimal year-round flying conditions, our state offers rich incentives and a collaborative environment.

The results? Aerospace and defense companies thrive in Arizona.



  • 1st: Embry-Riddle University's aerospace engineering program ranking in the nation among schools without doctorate programs (U.S. News & World Report, 2015)
  • 2nd in the nation for Space and Defense Systems Manufacturing jobs, employing more than 11,700 people (TechAmerica’s Cyberstates Report, 2015)
  • 3rd: Embry-Riddle University's ranking in the nation's Best Colleges for Master degrees in Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering Programs (U.S. News & World Report, 2015)
  • 4th: Tucson's ranking in the nation for total percent of manufacturing workforce dedicated to high-tech work - more than 51% of the manufacturing workforce is A&D-related (Brooking Metropolitan Policy Report, 2012)
  • 4th in aerospace revenue at $14.99 billion (Deloitte, 2012)
  • 6th in the nation for Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) employment at 17,822 (the Aeronautical Repair Station Association, Global MRO Market Economic Assessment, 2015)
  • $4.2 billion contributed to the state's economy by MRO activity, 2nd greatest impact among all states. (the Aeronautical Repair Station Association, Global MRO Market Economic Assessment, 2015)
  • 10th in the nation in total defense contracts awarded, $8.7 billion received in Department of Defense contracts in 2014. (, 2015)
  • More than 1,200 companies in Arizona that comprise the supply chain (1st, 2nd, and 3rd tier A&D suppliers), responsible for 5.91% of Arizona’s GDP, the 3rd largest contribution by state in the nation. (ACA Supply Chain Database, Deloitte; 2012)
  • 15 industry and trade associations for A&D within the state.


$101,676 average wage

for the Search, Detection and Navigational Instruments Manufacturing industry in Arizona (BLS QCEW, 2014)

$96,360 average wage

for the Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing industry in Arizona (BLS QCEW, 2014)

$69,852 average wage

for the Air Transportation industy in Arizona (BLS QCEW, 2014)

$53,312 average wage

or Support Activities to the Air Transportation industry in Arizona (BLS QCEW, 2014)


Arizona’s total A&D exports in 2014 were $3.47 billion, 21.8% higher than 2011 exports (International Trade Administration,; 2015).

The increase in A&D exports is due to a $400 million increase in demand for civilian aircraft and engine products from partner countries Canada, Germany, France and Japan, primarily.


Civil Aviation Economic Impact (Federal Aviation Administration, 2015):

  • Contributes to 7.9% of Arizona’s GDP (3rd largest in nation)
  • General aviation’s total economic output in Arizona: $943 million
  • Total economic output for aircraft, aircraft engine, and parts manufacturing: $11.8 billion (5th largest)
  • General aviation’s visitor expenditures: $300 million
  • Total economic output for travel arrangements: $1.3 billion (3rd largest)

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Economic Impact:

Direct Impact

  • $8.2 billion
  • 33,639 employees
  • 1,200+ daily flights
  • 9th largest airport in the U.S. by passengers carried (25th in the world), 15th largest in the world by number of takeoffs and landings

Total Economic Impact

  • $28.7 billion economic impact
  • 241,995 direct and induced employment
  • 32,870 jobs (direct-on airport, excluding Sky Harbor Center)

Tucson International Airport Economic Impact:

 Total Direct Economic Impact

  • $3.2 billion
  • 13,000 employee

Total Economic Impact (includes multipliers)

  • $3.25 billion
  • 34,570 employees


  • Aerospace & Defense
  • Advanced Materials Engineering
  • Missile Technologies
  • Navigation & Controls
  • Space Science
  • Micro/Nano Satellites
  • Advanced Assembly


  • Raytheon – 9,600 employees
  • Honeywell – 9,500 employees
  • General Dynamics C4 Systems – 4,500 employees
  • The Boeing Company – 4,300 employees
  • Lockheed Martin –
  • Northrop Grumman –
  • Orbital Sciences – 1,500 employees
  • United Technologies –
  • L3 Communications –
  • Standard Aero (MRO)
  • Bombardier – 1,000 employees (est.)
  • Nammo Talley –