Dynamic Industrial and Innovation Ecosystem

Virginia’s vibrant industrial and technological ecosystem provides an ideal home for the aerospace and UAS industries, which span subsectors from headquarters to manufacturers and suppliers. Numerous engineering and IT firms operate in Virginia, advancing aerospace and UAS programs and developing new technologies. On Virginia’s Eastern Shore, the NASA Wallops Flight Facility is one of only five locations in the United States licensed by the FAA to launch spacecraft into orbital trajectories. Major hubs of public and private R&D in Virginia include the National Institute of Aerospace, the Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center, and NASA’s Langley Research Center. 

Aero Logo Map 2024 widescreen

America's Top State for Talent

Ranked No. 1 in the U.S. for Education by CNBC, Virginia has a strong aerospace and UAS industry workforce, which is forecast to grow 11% over the next decade.

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Cape Henry Associates, Hampton Roads

Cape Henry Associates, Virginia Beach

A Steady Flow of New Talent

The aerospace industry draws talent from thousands of service members who exit the armed services in Virginia every year – many with security clearances – and the state’s growing demographics and excellent school systems ensure a steady flow of new talent. 

NASA Wallops Island Take Off

NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Accomack County

Thriving Regional Aerospace & Defense Innovation Ecosystems

Prestigious companies such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Leidos, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and General Dynamics have chosen to make Virginia’s various regional aerospace and defense hubs their home. Virginia’s thriving and vibrant innovation ecosystems, highly skilled technical workforce, and proximity to the federal government provide an ideal home for aerospace and defense companies. Major intersections of public and private R&D include the National Institute of Aerospace, the Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center, and NASA’s Langley Research Center. Over the last decade, 60 aerospace and UAS projects have been announced in Virginia, representing over $865 million in investment.

Shenandoah Valley Airport

Shenandoah Valley Airport

Robust Portfolio of Project-Ready Sites

Sites across all regions of Virginia are well suited to the aviation and UAS industries, including at least 20 runway-adjacent sites at major airports for maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) companies and fixed-base operations (FBO). Across the state, options for the aerospace and unmanned systems industries are expanding, with 300+ fully characterized sites of 25 acres or larger, dozens of certified sites, and a growing inventory of spec buildings and virtual buildings. Companies looking for ready-built options have abundant choices among thousands of buildings with over 20 million square feet of industrial space for lease, including more than 440 industrial buildings with 10,000 or more square feet available. 

World-class Transportation and Connectivity Infrastructure

Virginia’s airports, railways, ports, and roads provide an extensive network of transport links to supply chain and physical distribution networks. For aerospace and UAS operations, Virginia’s prime infrastructure asset is the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on the Eastern Shore, one of only five facilities authorized by the FAA to launch rockets into space, with full-service commercial launch and drone testing facilities. Virginia ranks among the top 14 states for air cargo in the continental U.S. For corporate travelers, Virginia is serviced by 16 commercial airports, collectively providing nonstop flights to 100+ domestic and 50+ international destinations. Virginia is served by the third-largest port on the East Coast, two of the largest Class I railroads in the U.S., and six major interstate highways, including major north-south and east-west trucking routes.

Airpark Sites

Rocket Lab Prepares for Liftoff in Virginia

In December 2019, Rocket Lab officially opened Launch Complex 2 at MARS on Wallops Island as the company’s first launch site in the United States. It was built specifically for the Electron rocket and represents Rocket Lab’s first planned mission from U.S. soil and a new national launch capability for the United States. The Eastern Shore of Virginia’s proven record of success in the aerospace industry and the skilled workforce and infrastructure in place gave Rocket Lab confidence that its new operation could thrive in Virginia. 

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Aeroprobe Sets Companies Up for Speed

Aeroprobe Corporation, a global producer of air data measurement systems to the aerospace, automotive, turbomachinery, wind turbine, and wind tunnel testing industries, has had a presence in Virginia for nearly two decades. All research, engineering, manufacturing, and testing of products and instruments is conducted at its headquarters in Christiansburg, Virginia. 

DroneUp Takes Technology to New Heights

DroneUp, LLC, a leading drone flight services innovator and aviation technology provider, has operated in Virginia since its founding in 2016, focusing on delivering on-demand services to commercial, government, and military organizations. The unmanned systems industry continues to flourish in Virginia, where in-depth education and training programs help develop a top innovative technology workforce for companies. 

Dynamic Aviation Soars in Virginia

With more than 650 employees and a fleet of over 140 aircraft, including the world’s largest privately owned fleet of King Airs, Dynamic Aviation has operational experience in more than 80 countries. In 2020, Dynamic Aviation announced a $47.9 million expansion in the Shenandoah Valley to establish a new office space, composite shop, and a new hangar to house its legacy aircraft, including the first Air Force One.

Wallops Research Park

The Wallops Research Park, located on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, is a prime location for aerospace and aviation operations, offering 200+ acres specifically for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and medium-class space launch vehicles. The location is ideal for companies that seek to leverage the capabilities of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) and NASA Wallops Flight Facility.

There is a fantastic can-do attitude in Virginia to make sure that all of its businesses are successful. We have felt the full push of the Virginia team towards success, and it’s been really wonderful.

Peter Beck Founder, President, and CEO

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Aeroprobe, Christiansburg

Aeroprobe, Christiansburg

An Attractive, Stable, and Predictable Operating Environment

In 2023, Virginia was named America’s No. 2 Top State for Business by CNBC for its business-friendly regulations, stable tax environment, and competitive cost of doing business. Virginia is widely recognized as one of the best-run states in the country, ranked No. 2 for governance by U.S. News & World Report. Virginia has the 5th-lowest private-sector unionization rate in the country, competitive costs of doing business, and state and local taxes that are lower than the nationwide average.

  • Virginia is the northernmost right-to-work state along the I-95 corridor.
  • Sound economic policy and prudent financial management has earned Virginia an AAA credit rating since 1938 - longer than any other state.
  • Virginia has had a stable 6% corporate income tax rate, one of the lowest in the nation, since 1972.

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