Geographic Scope

 

USA-OK is limited in scope to the State of Oklahoma.  The aerospace industry has been a cornerstone of Oklahoma’s economy for decades; Oklahoma’s position as one of the major worldwide centers for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of aircraft has provided well-paying jobs for a variety of skill levels. However, the industry’s position in Oklahoma is now challenged by global competition, changes in technology, national and worldwide economic conditions, and U.S. national policies that are impacting defense, civilian and commercial aviation. To maintain this important sector of Oklahoma’s economy, the state’s economic development leaders have taken on the challenge of increasing the industry’s competitiveness.

The Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC) and the Oklahoma Aerospace Institute developed the STRATEGIC PLAN FOR THE GROWTH OF OKLAHOMA’S AEROSPACE INDUSTRY in 2009 that analyzed Oklahoma’s current aerospace industry and created a vision and “road ahead” for future growth and expansion. According to ODOC, the Oklahoma aerospace industry accounts for over 72,000 jobs with an average wage almost double the state’s average wage. Unlike other industry sectors that are centered in just a few areas, Oklahoma’s aerospace industry assets span the state. Statewide there is an array of manufacturing, testing, maintenance, and research companies directly engaged in aerospace.

Expansion of Oklahoma’s aerospace industry is critical for the long-term vitality and health of the state’s economy. The emergence of the unmanned systems industry in Oklahoma offers an opportunity for Oklahoma to sustain and grow the state’s aerospace economy since Oklahoma has unique assets that could position the state in a leadership role in unmanned systems technology development, testing and training that will ultimately lead to unmanned systems development and production in the state.

The Oklahoma state government recognizes the importance of Oklahoma’s unmanned systems industry and the importance to the larger Oklahoma aerospace industry. Expansion of Oklahoma’s aerospace industry - and specifically the unmanned systems markets - is critical for the long-term health of the state’s economy. The emergence of the unmanned systems industry in Oklahoma offers an opportunity for Oklahoma to sustain and grow the state’s aerospace economy since Oklahoma has unique assets that could position the state for a leadership role at the national level for unmanned systems technology development, testing and training that could ultimately lead to unmanned systems development and production in the state.