Office of the Governor Rick Perry

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Aerospace and Aviation Programs

Summary of Achievement

As a former Air Force pilot, Gov. Perry recognizes the importance of the aerospace, aviation and defense cluster to the Texas economy.  Since 2003, the Governor’s Office of Aerospace, Aviation and Defense has worked with companies in those sectors to create 3,642 new jobs.  As a result, more than 184,000 Texans hold jobs in this industry while Texas has maintained its leading role as home to almost 2,000 aerospace companies.

The Challenge

When Gov. Perry took office there was no concerted statewide effort to support and grow the aviation, aerospace and defense industry in Texas.  By joining the efforts of the Texas Aerospace Commission with the Department of Economic Development to form the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism, Gov. Perry spurred a renewed focus on encouraging capital investment and creating new jobs in this critical industry cluster.  The Office of Aerospace, Aviation and Defense was created within the new economic development office to focus exclusively on the growth of the aerospace and defense cluster in Texas.

Action / Initiative

At the urging of industry leaders in the industry and with the support of the Texas Legislature, Gov. Perry created the Office of Aerospace, Aviation and Defense within the Office of Economic Development and Tourism.  The office’s objectives are:

  1. Analyze and promote space, aviation and defense related research
  2. Analyze the state’s economic position in the aerospace, aviation and defense industry
  3. Develop short and long-term business strategies to promote the retention, development and expansion of the aerospace, aviation and defense industry in the state
  4. Make recommendations to the governor and the Legislature regarding the promotion of these industries
  5. Act as a liaison with other state and federal entities with related to support the marketing of Texas’ aerospace, aviation and defense capabilities
  6. Provide technical support and expertise to the state and local spaceport authorities regarding aerospace, aviation and defense matters
  7. Promote the development of spaceports in Texas
As a result of the Governor’s initiative, Texas was the only state to have a statewide economic development effort focused on growing this industry.  Since then, other states have seen the benefit of this direct focus and followed Governor Perry’s lead.

The Outcome

Since September 2003, the Governor’s Office of Aerospace, Aviation and Defense has been instrumental in encouraging companies to invest more than $900 million in building and growing their businesses in Texas.  These companies have also created more than 3,700 new jobs for Texans, and include:

CompanyCapital Investment (Est.)Jobs Created

Albany Engineering Composites$ 41,635,000337
American Eurocopter$ 1,706,00040
Boeing$ 1,300,000400
Gulfstream Aerospace$ 22,200,000150
Lockheed Martin$105,300,0001562
Progressive, Inc.$ 40,500,000105
Raytheon $ 21,700,000200
Rockwell Collins$ 6,782,500334
Trace Engines$ 9,658,000114
Vought Aircraft$598,000,000300