Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Aerospace/Aviation

A Great Place to Land

Home to nearly 180 well-known companies in the industry, aerospace/aviation is Arkansas’s second leading export, in part because the state offers a very competitive environment for aerospace and aviation companies to operate. 

Arkansas has numerous available sites with runway access and aviation-focused facilities, along with a highly skilled labor force nearly 1.3 million strong. 

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4th lowest cost of doing business in the nation.

CNBC's Top States For Business, 2015

Companies finding success in Arkansas

Dassault Falcon Jet has grown by 30% (employment) in the last 15 years. 

Katherine Holmstrom

Senior Project Manager
501-682-7376
(501) 682-7394
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Incentives
  • Income Tax Credits
  • Infrastructure Grants
  • Payroll Rebates
  • Sales Tax Credits & Refunds
Education/Workforce

Henderson State University offers a 4-year Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation. HSU’s aviation department includes 15 aircraft and state-of-the-art flight simulators to train graduates to fly commercial planes, manage airports and aircraft fleets.

The Arkansas Aerospace and Defense Alliance focuses on infrastructure and workforce training. 

Arkansas has the 2nd highest percentage of manufacturing employment in the South and 6th highest in the nation.

Available Buildings and Sites

The Arkansas Aeroplex, a multi-modal transportation facility located near Interstate 55 on the grounds of the former Eaker Air Force Base, is comprised of 1.5 million square feet that includes an office park, an aviation park with avionics repair benches, sheet metal shops, welding shops and painting equipment and a distribution center. The Arkansas Aeroplex features:

  • Six hangars
  • A test facility for jet engines
  • Maintenance buildings with air compressors
  • An 11,600-foot runway
Transportation & Infrastructure

Arkansas is centrally located between Mexico City and Montreal, offering easy access to 40% of the U.S. population. The state's transportation infrastructure provides a variety of efficient options to get products to market. Major market centers in the region include Memphis, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, New Orleans and St. Louis.

Highways

  • I-40, reaching from North Carolina to California, runs through Arkansas
  • I-55 links eastern Arkansas to St. Louis & Chicago to the north and New Orleans to the south
  • I-30 connects Arkansas with markets to the southwest, including Texas and Mexico

Rail

  • 3 Class I Systems: Union Pacific, BNSF Railway and Kansas City Southern Railway
  • Union Pacific operates major yards in Little Rock and Pine Bluff
  • 22 smaller railroads operate over more than 2,700 miles of track
  • 40 available sites which are rail served

Air

  • Major commercial airports are located in Central and Northwest Arkansas: The Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport has 120+ flight arrivals and departures each day, with non-stop jet service to 14 national/international gateway cities. Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport provides non-stop service to 14 national/international gateway cities on nearly 50 flights each day.
  • Memphis International Airport is located less than 15 miles from the Arkansas state line
  • 6 regional airports located throughout the state

Water

  • 3 ports located along the Arkansas River: Little Rock, Pine Bluff and Fort Smith 
  • 4 Mississippi River terminals: Osceola, West Memphis, Helena and McGehee