Aerospace and defense represents Arkansas’ #1 export, and we are home to nearly 180 well-known aerospace and defense companies that include MRO, component parts, completion centers, and defense contractors as well as the Little Rock Air Force Base. The state is also one of the nation’s fastest growing defense corridors, with companies like Aerojet Rocketdyne, Esterline, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. 


Aerospace / Defense companies find success here

  • Home to 180 Aerospace / Defense companies, including Dassault Falcon Jet, which has established its largest facility in the world in central Arkansas, along with Lockheed Martin, Aerojet Rocketdyne, General Dynamics and other major businesses
  • Third lowest cost of doing business and the third lowest cost of living nationally
  • Competitive incentives and a streamlined state government
  • Arkansas is one of 27 Right to work states

Well-trained workforce

  • 8,276 employees in Aerospace / Defense manufacturing; 4,050 directly engaged in aerospace products and parts manufacturing
  • 2,475 Airframe and Powertrain (A&P) licensed mechanics
  • The Little Rock Air Force Base has more than 10,800 personnel, including civilians, active duty and Army Reserve Force
  • From 2010 to present, nearly 1,300 aerospace jobs have been created statewide


  • 45 colleges, universities & 2-year colleges throughout Arkansas
  • 5 educational institutions offer certification in Aviation Maintenance Technology including both Powerplant and Airframe mechanic career education
  • 21 colleges, universities, and 2-year colleges, all high schools and several other organizations offer coursework, instruction or degrees in cybersecurity. The Arkansas Department of Education's cybersecurity education initiative offers free coursework to all high school students with an interest in the field.
  • Over 2,100 engineering-related certificates and degrees awarded annually

poised for growth

  • Aerospace / Defense is Arkansas’ leading export. In 2017, aircraft & aircraft parts were Arkansas’s largest category of export with over $1.5 B dollars in goods exported
  • Numerous available sites with runway access and aviation-focused facilities
  • Strong support from Governor Asa Hutchinson and our Congressional delegation


  • Three U.S. Interstates connecting east and west coasts, and the Canada and Mexico borders, including I-30, I-55, and I-40
  • 16,418 miles of state and U.S. Highways – 12th largest system in the U.S.
  • Eight Intermodal freight facilities with four riverports
  • 2,505 miles of rail and three Class 1 rail systems
  • #3 in the nation with 1,000 miles of inland, navigable waterways
  • More than 90 public airports including Clinton National, Northwest Arkansas National, and close proximity to Memphis International Airport and the Fed-Ex hub
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Aerospace & Defense Industry

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Envoy Air Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of American Airlines Group, announced that it will establish a new Aircraft Maintenance facility at the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport (LIT) in Little Rock, Ark., investing more than $2 million and bringing 60 new jobs to the area over the next five years.

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AEDC's mission is to create economic opportunity by attracting higher paying jobs, expanding and diversifying our state and local economies, increasing incomes and investment, and generating positive growth throughout Arkansas. Here are some examples of businesses that are thriving!

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Aerospace and Defense Companies in Arkansas