Aerospace & Aviation

Still First in Flight

Leading aerospace and aviation companies are building upon North Carolina’s “first in flight” history with major operations in the Carolina Core.

With more than 200 aerospace and aviation companies already operating successfully in the Carolina Core, the region received a major boost when Boom Supersonic announced in 2021 that it would invest $500 million to build a manufacturing facility at the Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTI). The company is currently developing Overture, a next-generation jet that aims to be the world’s fastest and most sustainable supersonic passenger airliner.

In 2023, Marshall Aerospace, a UK-based military aircraft contractor, announced it would invest $50 million to build a C-130 maintenance facility at PTI on 20 acres adjacent to the Boom site. The two companies join Honda Aircraft Company, which established its Greensboro headquarters in 2006 and operates R&D, manufacturing and customer service facilities that together employ 1,500 associates throughout the region. Other major operations include HAECO Americas, with 600,000 square feet of facilities including a new hangar that is one of the largest in the HAECO family, and Textron Aviation, operating one of only 15 service centers for Cessna business jets worldwide.

Talent Hits New Heights

Aerospace and aviation companies tap into the Carolina Core’s skilled talent pool to design, engineer and move their next big innovation. Companies have access to graduates from more than 30 colleges and universities, with aviation-related training concentrated at area community colleges.

Guilford Technical Community College’s Aviation Campus located at Piedmont Triad International Airport, is one of the most modern and best-equipped aviation maintenance training facilities in the Southeast. At Forsyth Technical Community College, the Mazie S. Woodruff Aviation Technology Lab at Smith Reynolds Airport accommodates eight airframes to help meet the growing demand for aviation technicians and mechanics.

Sites Ready for Takeoff

The Carolina Core has several industrial sites ready for aerospace and aviation operations. At the Piedmont Triad International Airport, approximately 900 acres are still available at the PTI Aerospace Center, which includes runway access and preliminary approval for development by the EPA. Other commercial and regional airports, such as Smith Reynolds Airport, along the Carolina Core offer development sites with airfield access and plenty of industrial and business parks for off-airport operations.

Notable Employers