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DFW International Airport: Cornerstone of the Region’s Aerospace Cluster

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Texas leads the nation in Aerospace business with more than 1,300 firms operating in the state. Leading that charge is the Dallas-Fort Worth region with DFW Airport firmly planted at the center of this high growth industry.

There are more than 120 aerospace firms located within a ten mile radius of DFW Airport, establishing it as the cornerstone of the nation’s thriving aerospace industry. The airport itself is home to more than 40 aerospace and aviation related firms.

Some of those firms include:

- CTI – Sikorsky – Built on airport property in 2008, the $36 million, 150,000 square foot facility houses a new rotor blade and testing repair facility. In 2012, the company completed a $15 million high-tech whirl tower, which conducts tests in real world conditions.

- Pratt & Whitney - One of the world’s largest aircraft engine manufacturers (behind only GE and Rolls Royce), the company occupies 206,000 square feet in International Commerce Park.

- American Airlines – The world’s largest airline, responsible for 85 percent of DFW’s commercial flight traffic. The airline operates its 30 acre training and business campus on DFW.

- Training facilities – Simuflight’s 426,000 square foot facility is the largest corporate aviation training center in the world, offering pilot, maintenance and flight crew training. FlightSafety  International delivers more than a million hours of professional instruction each year, training more pilots than any other company.

Statewide Texas also leads the charge in aerospace and aviation employment, employing more than 150,000 people. The DFW region is responsible for more than 86,000 of those employees, leading the nation in manufacturing and air transportations jobs.
These jobs serve in a wide array of sectors and support over 150,000 additional employees in the region, resulting in a total employment impact of 238,000. Furthermore, the region boasts one of the highest concentrations of aerospace employees nationwide,
with 2.6 times as many jobs than the U.S. average; that number increases to 3.0 times in manufacturing. Major regional employers include Lockheed Martin, Bell Helicopter and Raytheon.

Aerospace Employment: Dallas-Fort Worth Region

Sector

Direct

Impact

Total

Location
Quotient*

Air Transportation

32,561

54,984

87,545

2.7

Airports & Other Air Transportation Support Activities

10,756

22,857

33,613

2.4

Aircraft and Part Mfg.

34,364

58,651

93,015

3.0

Search, Detection & Navigation Instrument Mfg.

4,179

7,884

12,063

1.2

Flight Training

1,530

2,955

4,485

3.4

Aerospace Wholesale and Distribution

2,936

4,404

7,340

3.3

Total

86,326

151,735

238,061

2.6

*Location Quotient: If an LQ is equal to 1, then the industry has the same share of its area employment as it does in the reference area. An LQ greater than 1 indicates an industry with a greater share of the local area employment than is the case in the reference area. In this case the United States.

Source: Texas Workforce Commission, Bureau of Labor Statistics, IMPLAN

 
Dallas-Fort Worth is also primed to facilitate the growing aerospace export industry. Aircraft, engines and parts constitute 11 percent of the region’s exports. This number represents a 22.3 percent increase from 2012-2013, resulting in 2.1 billion exports
leaving from Dallas-Fort Worth.

State government initiatives and legislation to expand the aerospace industry statewide and attract more firms to Texas should result in continued growth. With the capacity for growth and concentration of industry leaders doing business in its backyard,
DFW Airport has established itself as the arena and cornerstone for the aerospace industry now and in the future. 

Air Cargo

Hospitality

Industrial / Warehouse

Retail / Office

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