The defense industry accounts for more than 75 percent of the global aerospace and defense market, which is expected to increase by 13 percent in the next five years. More than 1,000 local Department of Defense contractors and more than 100 aerospace firms provide a solid foundation for the industry's growth in Charlotte USA.
Area firms such as Goodrich Corporation, BAE Systems, General Dynamics, Curtiss-Wright Controls, Inc. and Michelin Aircraft Tire Corporation are successfully incorporating their advanced technologies to land government contracts.
Close proximity to major aerospace OEM's in the Carolina's is attracting a supplier base for a growing aerospace cluster. Companies such as Boeing, Spirit Aerosystems, Honda Aircraft Company and Gulfstream Aerospace Corp have significant production facilities across North and South Carolina. Charlotte USA is centrally located to serve these facilities.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the nation’s seventh busiest and is located just 15 minutes from uptown Charlotte. It is home to US Airways' largest hub and a large maintenance, repair and overhaul operation. The airport completed construction of its third parallel 9,000-ft runway in February 2010, making it one of only a handful of U.S. airports that can land three planes simultaneously.
- Home to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, world's seventh-busiest airport
- 1,000+ local companies have received Dept. of Defense contracts since 2000
- 40+ nonstop daily flights to Washington, D.C.
- 15 military installations within the Carolinas
- More than 8,000 engineers employed in the 16-county region
- Major employers: Goodrich Corporation, General Dynamics Armament & Technical Products, BAE Systems, Curtiss-Wright Controls, Northrop Grumman Space & Technology, Michelin Aircraft, Ingersoll-Rand, Dessault Systemes and Digital Optics, ATI Allvac, Turbomeca Manufacturing, Continental
- Charlotte Research Institute (CRI) at UNC Charlotte, formed by industry giants – Boeing Aerospace, General Dynamics, Digital Optics and Caterpillar – to accelerate research, commercialize technology innovations and foster economic development in the region
- Among CRI focus areas: eBusiness, precision metrology, optoelectronics and bioinformatics
- North and South Carolina have the first and third lowest unionization rates among all 50 states.
- Defense Venture Group, a supplier of armored vehicles and security products, created 160 new jobs and moved its manufacturing, research and development and headquarters operations to Lancaster County, S.C.
- Military polymers supplier Composite Resources Inc. expanded its Rock Hill, S.C. facility. The $3.5 million investment, the company's second, is expected to generate 50 new jobs over the next five years.
- Turbomeca, a French-owned aerospace firm, opened its first production facility outside of France in Monroe, N.C. The new factory covers 100,000 sf and manufactures low-to medium-power gas turbines for helicopters. The facility was fully operational by end of 2009, with a total of 200 employees.
- ATI Allvac announced a $210 million expansion in 2007, adding 125 jobs to the 1,100-workforce at two facilities located in Monroe, N.C.
- Tensylon High Performance Materials Inc, a unit of BAE Systems, expanded by 18,000 sf in Monroe, N.C., to support production of troop protection products, such as wheeled-vehicle systems, helmets and body armor for military customers.
- Ultra Machine & Fabrication in Shelby, N.C., constructed a new 101,000-sf armored plating manufacturing facility, housing state-of-the-art technology, including two 200-ft lasers, some of the longest on the East Coast.
- Para Ordinance, a high-quality firearms manufacturer, moved its headquarters and manufacturing operations from Toronto, Canada, to Charlotte, N.C., hiring 35-40 new skilled personnel for its machining and assembly operations.