Aerospace Rocket Launch

Public-Private Partnerships Fuel Aerospace Industry Growth

Within the past few decades, the commercial aerospace industry has expanded rapidly across the country. New companies have seen astronomical growth by developing new technology and capabilities in aviation, satellite development, avionics, engineering, rocketry and more. Not only is the industry growing at warp speed, but the communities that provide a home base for these emerging companies are experiencing the corollary benefits of new jobs and economic growth. Several reports from investment banks have recently predicted that the global space economy, currently valued around $350 billion, will surpass $1 trillion in the 2040s (Morgan Stanley [2020], Goldman Sachs [2017], Bank of America Merrill Lynch [2017]) and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis recently launched a new initiative to measure the industry’s growth

A trillion dollars is a whole lot of moon pie, and state lawmakers are increasingly looking for new ways to secure their slice. Several states have established their own aerospace and aeronautics commissions or other unique, public-private partnerships to help incentivize and assist companies to get set up in their respective states, and more states are likely to follow suit. The new rules, regulations and guidelines that accompany these efforts can be tracked by FOCUS and our team of analysts to help you learn what you need to know to let your business thrive.

One of the states with the fastest growing aerospace industry, Colorado, has seen a massive influx of new businesses in space technology, aviation and more. Colorado is also striving to be home to a major command of the newly-minted United States Space Force, as well as serving as home for NASA and military installations like NORAD. The Colorado Space Coalition (CSC) — an organization that works to partner commercial stakeholders with other groups and officials to help advance the Colorado aerospace industry — has a membership of nearly 500 assorted aerospace companies with operations in the state. CSC states that these companies provide over 190,000 jobs to Colorado. The state has taken a strong stand to develop aerospace within its borders, and from the looks of it they will continue to reap the benefits of this investment.

Florida has held a longstanding prominence in the space and aviation development industry. From its beginnings as a missile test range, to the basing of NASA’s launch facilities, to the opening of commercial opportunities for private space companies, Cape Canaveral has been a longstanding focal point in space exploration. Companies like SpaceX have even rented facilities from NASA, like the historic launch pad LC-39A, for their own use. Boeing, Blue Origin and United Launch Alliance have also been making massive strides to set up shop on the world famous Space Coast.

Florida has taken the initiative to maintain its standing in the development of the aerospace industry. In 2006, the state launched Space Florida, a government/commercial partnership designed to serve as the state’s aerospace economic development organization. Among Space Florida’s numerous responsibilities, the agency serves as a single point of contact between the industry and the state, tracks related legislative issues at the state and federal level and aids businesses in their growth and development in the state. It has become an invaluable tool for aerospace companies looking to join the new age of space exploration seeded in Florida.

Washington is another state that has taken huge strides in growing its aerospace industry, from developing the next generation of advanced aircraft and unmanned aerial systems to developing new spacecraft and technology. The state is home to a massive presence of the aerospace industry with a strong backing from the state. A public-private partnership — the Aerospace Futures Alliance (AFA) — serves as a platform for both government and industry to support and grow the aerospace sector in Washington. With their membership of over 1,400 companies, the AFA serves as a platform that works to bring concerns and interests of businesses to the forefront.

In addition, the governor’s Office of Aerospace works to develop statewide economic strategy for the aerospace industry. This office coordinates the international aerospace economy with the Washington sector to further develop new training, education, infrastructure capacity and more. The additional backing of public and private research institutions bolsters the strong partnership between Washington and the best of the aerospace industry.

New Mexico and Maryland have also launched similar efforts to bring state policymakers and private industry together. In 2018, the New Space New Mexico public-private partnership began in order to bring space industry stakeholders together to support and build the industry up in the state. Maryland launched the Maryland Defense and Aerospace Consortium in 2019 as part of an effort to enable small and large aerospace and defense firms, educational institutions and the U.S. Department of Defense to partner with one another.

These examples are just a few of the many industry-supported government agencies designed to encourage the aerospace industry’s growth within their respective state. As the aerospace industry continues to grow, so, too, will the regulatory infrastructure within the state. FOCUS’ legislative and regulatory tracking databases and customized written reports can help aerospace companies identify, understand and track the new guidelines, regulations and legislation pertinent to your business. When these commissions open doorways, FOCUS is here to help you find them, capitalize on them and reach new levels of success.