Key Industries Aerospace

Aerospace Solutions Built to Spec

Louisiana’s established advanced manufacturing sector provides unparalleled advantages for aerospace operations. Nationally recognized for its manufacturing talent, the state is making additional strategic investments in higher education programs to enhance skills and expertise. The state offers unparalleled infrastructure and logistics, an abundance of sites and expedited permitting. Add to that the nation’s best state workforce development program and internationally competitive incentives, and it’s clear Louisiana provides aerospace companies a competitive edge.

Globally-recognized aerospace companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Metro Aviation, Western Global and Northrop Grumman have established operations in Louisiana and are benefiting from the state’s unique advantages.

Propelled by a Customized Workforce

Manufacturers can benefit from Louisiana’s sizeable available workforce. A right-to-work state for more than three decades, more than 430,000 workers in Louisiana are currently employed in occupations relevant to manufacturing, according to Economic Modeling Specialists Inc.

New investors in the state can be sure of Louisiana’s continued workforce growth, because the state is making strategic investments in higher education to meet the future needs of industry. The majority of the state’s research universities have institutes, programs of study and/or centers specializing in manufacturing focus areas. In all, Louisiana graduates more than 22,000 people per year with credentials relevant to the manufacturing industry, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

The majority of the state’s research universities have institutes, programs and/or centers specializing in manufacturing focus areas.

  • The National Center for Advanced Manufacturing, under the leadership of LSU and the University of New Orleans, leads a consortium of seven universities that conduct research focused on using composite and metallic materials in the production of aerospace structures.
  • Four Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) schools in Louisiana are training the future aviation maintenance workers: Baton Rouge Community College, South Louisiana Community College, Southern University at Shreveport and SOWELA Technical Community College.

Additional research centers providing innovative partnerships and growth opportunities include:

  • Louisiana Center for Manufacturing Sciences, Shreveport
  • Center for Lean Excellence, New Orleans
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Lafayette
More than 430,000 workers in Louisiana are currently employed in occupations relevant to manufacturing.

LED FastStart Delivers Workforce Solutions

LED FastStart, the nation’s No. 1 state workforce development program, creates customized workforce recruitment, screening and training solutions for new or expanding companies — at no cost to eligible companies.

With only one goal, client satisfaction, LED FastStart pairs its world-class team with a company’s subject matter experts to learn the company’s unique processes and culture. After determining the competencies that match the cultural and technical abilities that will help define the most successful employee, the LED FastStart team employs traditional and innovative methods to recruit qualified talent that matches the company’s specific requirements.

Based on a company’s immediate and long-term workforce needs, the LED FastStart team will craft unique programs that ensure high-quality, flexible workers are prepared on day one and beyond. Technical, team-based and soft-skills training programs are sequenced and delivered to engage new employees. LED FastStart helps improve learning curves, and increases a company’s productivity, resulting in a faster start and a better bottom line. Post-employment classes are strategically developed and sequenced to orient new team members into a company’s organization. LED FastStart’s world-class training adds value to every level of a company.

LED FastStart team members have developed and managed hundreds of customized workforce training programs for a wide variety of companies across multiple industry sectors, including Fortune 500 companies. In particular, the team has experience working with aerospace companies like Northrop Grumman.

Louisiana Incentives Push Aerospace to New Heights

Aerospace manufacturers will find a suite of highly competitive incentives designed to help their operations thrive in Louisiana.

  • Louisiana offers the Industrial Tax Exemption Program, which provides property tax abatement for up to ten years on a manufacturer’s new investment and annual capitalized addition.

  • Manufacturers may qualify for the Quality Jobs program, which provides up to a 6 percent cash rebate of annual gross payroll for new, direct jobs for up to 10 years. It could also provide a state sales/use rebate on capital expenditures or a 1.5 percent project facility expense rebate for qualified expenses.

  • The Enterprise Zone program provides either a $3,500 or $1,000 tax credit for each certified net new job created and either a state sales/use tax rebate on capital expenses or 1.5 percent investment tax credit for qualifying expenses.

  • In addition, the Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive — the nation’s strongest, most comprehensive incentive for software development — provides a unique advantage to the aerospace industry. The incentive is applicable to customer-facing software, including aerospace-specific applications like navigation, communications, radar, defense and other embedded systems. Eligible projects receive a 25 percent refundable tax credit for payroll expenditures and an 18 percent refundable tax credit for qualified production expenditures.

“Chennault International Airport and the aviation sector as a whole is focused on growing for the future. Our mission is to create an environment where strong economic incentives grow partnerships with a focus on an aggressive business model to promote centers of excellence.”
Chennault International Airport Authority
Kevin Melton, Colonel (Ret), USAF
Executive Director

Strategically Located to Launch Your Business

Well situated for both inbound and outbound logistics, Louisiana’s unrivaled infrastructure offers strategic advantages for the aerospace industry. The state is home to:

  • Six interstate highways

  • Six Class 1 railroads

  • Six deepwater ports and six ports across the state offering foreign trade zone affiliation

  • Seven primary airports and four airports across the state offering foreign trade zone affiliation

When it comes time to find the best location for your operation, Louisiana has an extensive selection of development-ready sites searchable in its Buildings & Sites Database.

The LED Certified Sites program further qualifies industrial sites based on zoning restrictions, title work, environmental studies, soil analysis and surveys.

Of particular interest to many aerospace operations is NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Now a multitenant facility for high-tech industries including advanced manufacturing, the main facility has:

  • 43 acres under one roof

  • An extensive overhead crane network

  • A deepwater port with access to highway and rail

  • 2 million square feet of manufacturing space

Available Airport Locations Offer Industrial Property

The state’s major airports offer industrial property with runway access, available to companies seeking to establish operations with enhanced ROI and lower costs. Selected examples include:

  • England Airpark in Alexandria offers interstate, rail and inland port access as well as two runways and a 24-hour air traffic control tower and FBO. The site has no noise or operating restrictions and a new fuel farm.

  • Baton Rouge Metro Airport has two runways and 18 acres of aircraft parking space available which can accommodate a Boeing 757. With interstate, rail and deepwater port access, the facility also has a greenfield site under ownership for future developments.

  • Shreveport Regional Airport has numerous sites that can be developed. The facility has two runways, 500 acres of green field space, a 24/7 control tower and fire station. The Shreveport Industrial Park has more than 200 acres available with water, sewer, roadways, electric and natural gas already in place in addition to rail and port access. In addition, the airport’s second industrial park, the Warehouse District, has about 60 acres ready for development with infrastructure in place.

  • Acadiana Regional Airport in New Iberia hosts a global leader in aviation exterior painting services for large body aircraft and is positioned in the heart of the Gulf of Mexico helicopter industry. The airport offers 1,200 acres for development with access to an 8,000-foot runway and a unique 5,000-foot, lighted water runway for amphibious aircraft.

  • Chennault International Airport in Lake Charles has a 10,700 x 200 ft. runway capable of accommodating a very large commercial aircraft. With 500 acres for lease — including certified sites and 1.5 million sq. ft. of hangar and building space, it is an MRO center of excellence with interstate, rail and deepwater port access in a foreign trade zone.

  • Major tenants at Chennault include defense contractor Northrop Grumman, which maintains key surveillance and refueling aircraft for the U.S. Air Force. An $18.5 million, 112,500-square-foot new facility, Hangar H, is planned for completion at Chennault in 2014. Hangar H will be able to accommodate C-5 aircraft, one of the largest transports in the world. An $18.5 million, 112,500-square-foot new facility, Hangar H, was completed at Chennault in 2014. Hangar H is able to accommodate C-5 aircraft, one of the largest transports in the world.

A Business Climate That Helps Companies Soar

At the core of Louisiana’s competitive advantages is the strength of its business climate. In recent years, the state has enacted reforms to create an atmosphere that Forbes magazine calls, “America’s new frontier for business opportunity.” Louisiana now ranks in the Top 10 states for business climate in the U.S., according to Area Development, Development Counsellors International and Site Selection.

Louisiana’s low-tax environment offers manufacturers significant cost savings. According to a 50-state analysis by the Tax Foundation and KPMG: Location Matters: The State Tax Costs of Doing Business, Louisiana ranks as the lowest tax burden for new facilities, relocations, and facility expansions for both capital-intensive and labor-intensive manufacturing operations in the U.S. The total effective tax rate (based on all state and local taxes including income tax, franchise tax, sales tax and property tax) is less than one percent.

A location in Louisiana can reduce company costs because of the state’s low industrial electricity rates — 2018 rates averaged approximately 19 percent below the national average.

Louisiana’s industrial natural gas rates are also highly competitive, with the state’s 2018 rates averaging the third-lowest in the South and approximately 18 percent below the national average.