The “PricewaterhouseCoopers’ 2017 Aerospace Manufacturing Attractiveness rankings”, study for the current year 2017 ranks the desirability of a state for the development of Aerospace industry by considering six subcategories:
- Labor force, which included education and number of employees.
- Infrastructure, which measured the quality of roads, railroads and air travel as well as internet usage.
- Aerospace industry, which included market size, profit maturity and growth.
- Economy, which included the state’s GDP, CPI, manufacturing output and government subsidies.
- Costs, such a energy, transportation and labor costs.
- Tax policy, which considered states’ tax rates for individuals and corporate income tax as well as sales, gasoline and property taxes.
Texas tied for 8th place this year tied with Colorado. In 2016 Texas ranked 7th.
In the 2017 study Texas ranked 1st in the aerospace industry subcategory, 5th in the economy subcategory, and 11th in Infrastructure. However, Texas ranked low in the costs, 28th and tax policy, 27th subcategories. Georgia, the home of several major Aerospace Manufacturing facilities currently used by NASA and other government entities ranked 1st overall with labor and cost of doing business 1/3 that of Texas.
Scott Thompson, the US Aerospace and Defense leader at PicewaterhouseCoopers, noted that the aerospace manufacturing industry has long cycles, so trends don’t change much year to year. However, the Aerospace industry is booming, he said.
Houston, home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, with an annual budget of about $4.5 billion in contracts, grants, civil service payroll and procurements, according to the Greater Houston Partnership, and is home to the Manned Flight Center. In addition, Houston Ellington Field which hosts many of NASA’s specialty aircraft such as the Super Guppy, a unique airplane capable of caring loads no other airplane, has the internal dimensions of 25ft in diameter and 111ft long, and the WB-57 high altitude research aircraft. It is also home to NASA’s astronauts and their training aircraft the Northrop T38A(N), a special 2 seat version made for the NASA program.
Houston has the Spaceport at Ellington Airport, which was granted a license in 2015 for commercial space flight. There is also located at Ellington Spaceport the 53,000 sq ft Houston Aerospace Support Center which is designed to be a co-working facility with incubation space for early-stage companies as well as permanent offices for developing companies and larger facilities for manufacturing and assembly of products. The Houston Technology Center – South which specializes in helping Houston’s Aerospace startups is also located in the center and holds regularly scheduled meetings to promote the facilities.