NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton CoStar Group, Richmond
Lockheed Martin, Manassas
Rocket Lab, Accomack County
Aerospace & Unmanned Aerial Systems
ADP, Norfolk General Dynamics, Fairfax County
With a thriving industrial and innovation ecosystem, a top-ranked business climate, and a highly skilled workforce, Virginia is an outstanding choice for aerospace and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) companies. In the past decade, 77 aerospace and UAS projects have been announced in Virginia, representing nearly 4,700 jobs and over $1.2 billion in investment. Top companies that have recently chosen to locate or expand in Virginia include Aery Aviation, Aurora Flight Sciences, Dynamic Aviation Group, Silent Falcon UAS Technologies, MAG Aerospace, Raytheon, and General Dynamics.
1 Dynamic Industrial and Innovation Ecosystem
3 America’s Top State for Talent
5 Robust Portfolio of Project-Ready Sites
7 World-Class Transportation and Connectivity Infrastructure
9 An Attractive, Stable, and Predictable Operating Environment
11 An Exceptional Quality of Life
Dynamic Industrial & Innovation Ecosystem Illustrative Examples Virginia’s vibrant industrial and technological ecosystem provides an ideal home for the aerospace and UAS industries, which span subsectors from headquarters to manufacturers and suppliers in the industry. Numerous engineering and IT firms operate in Virginia, advancing aerospace and UAS programs and developing new technologies. On Virginia’s Eastern Shore, the NASA Wallops Flight Facility is one of only four locations in the United States licensed by the FAA to launch spacecraft into orbit or on interplanetary trajectories. Major hubs of public and private R&D in Virginia include the National Institute of Aerospace, the Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center, and NASA Langley Research Center.
Shenandoah Valley Lynchburg Region
Roanoke Region 64 B ec k l ey 220
New River Valley
West Virginia 460
B l a c k s b u rg 460
W y t h ev i l l e 221
B r i s to l
R o a n o ke
M ar t i n s v i l l e
I81-I77 Crossroads Kn ox v i l l e
G re en s b o ro
Northern Shenandoah Valley
Maryland B al t i m o re
W i n c h es t e r 7 L ee s b u rg
West Virginia 66
Wa s h i n g to n , D. C . Alexandria
Fre d e r i c k s b u rg
H ar r i s o n b u rg
S t a u n to n Charlottesville
L ex i n g to n
60 Ly n c h b u rg
Far m v i l l e
W i l l i am s b u rg
Pet er s b u rg
29 S o u t h B o s to n D an v i l l e
Norfolk V i rg i n i a B ea c h
S o u t h Hi l l 501
South Central Virginia R a l ei g h
America’s Top State for Talent Ranked No. 2 in the U.S. for Education and No. 3 for Workforce by CNBC, Virginia has a strong aerospace and UAS industry workforce, which is projected to grow 8.5% over the next decade. The aerospace and UAS industries draw talent from thousands of service members who exit the armed services in Virginia every year – many with security clearances – and the state’s growing demographics and excellent school systems ensure a steady flow of new talent. Virginia’s K-12 schools are ranked No. 1 in the South and No. 4 in the U.S. (WalletHub, 2021), and its higher education system is ranked No. 1 in the U.S. (SmartAsset, 2021). The Virginia Talent Accelerator Program – VEDP’s world-class customized talent acquisition and training solution – is available to new and expanding companies to ensure they can quickly attract and onboard high-quality employees. The program is offered at no cost to qualified companies as an incentive for job creation, and grants are available for companies that prefer to manage their own recruitment and training.
Dynamic Aviation, Rockingham County
Dynamic Aviation soars in Virginia For more than 50 years, Dynamic Aviation has leveraged the infrastructure, higher education institutions, and robust workforce in the Shenandoah Valley to provide innovative aviation solutions for government and commercial customers worldwide. The company has the flexibility and resources to deliver world-class aviation solutions that combine mission-modified aircraft, experienced flight crews, and comprehensive maintenance services. With more than 650 employees and a fleet of over 140 aircraft, including the world’s largest privately owned fleet of King Airs, Dynamic Aviation has operational experience in more than 80 countries. Blue Ridge Community College, located minutes from the region’s general and commercial aviation airport, provides advanced training to Dynamic Aviation through its FAA-approved Aviation Maintenance Technology program.
The company operates a 300,000-sq.-ft. heavy maintenance and modifications center, engine shop, and privately owned airport at its headquarters in Bridgewater. In 2020, Dynamic Aviation announced a $47.9 million expansion to establish a new office space, composite shop, and a new hangar to house its legacy aircraft, including the first Air Force One. Dynamic Aviation has been actively involved in VEDP’s renowned international trade programs since 2012, and is a 2013 graduate of the Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET) Program, a two-year global export acceleration program that provides participating companies with assistance from a team of experienced international service providers to help meet their export goals.
Robust Portfolio of Project-Ready Sites Sites across all regions of Virginia are well suited to the aviation and UAS industries, including at least 20 runway-adjacent sites at major airports for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) companies and fixed-base operations (FBO). Across the state, options for the aerospace and unmanned systems industries are expanding, with 450+ fully characterized sites of 25 acres or larger, dozens of certified sites, and a growing inventory of spec buildings and virtual buildings. Companies looking for ready-built options have abundant choices among thousands of buildings with over 29 million square feet of industrial space for lease, including more than 450 vacant industrial buildings of 10,000 square feet or larger. Construction is underway on an additional 8.3 million square feet of industrial space.
Total Site Acreage
Certiﬁed Sites Additional Sites in Development
99 and below
100 to 499
500 and above
250 301 220
29 South Boston Mar tinsville
58 South Hill
85 Winston-Salem Knoxville
sites are certified as project-ready under Virginia’s Business Ready Sites Program
of Virginia’s certified parks have graded pad sites available for construction
runway-adjacent sites for aerospace and UAS companies
Wallops Research Park The Wallops Research Park, located on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, is a prime location for aerospace and aviation operations, offering 200+ acres specifically for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and mediumclass space launch vehicles. The location is ideal for companies that seek to leverage the capabilities of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) and NASA Wallops Flight Facility. In 2014 over $8 million in state and local funding was invested in the Wallops Research Park, through the efforts of the Wallops Leadership Council, NASA, the Chincoteague Bay Field Station, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Accomack County. This investment funded, among other things, the construction of a 1,200’ taxiway, which leads to the NASA towered airfield with 8,748’ runways, as well as water, broadband, and electric infrastructure. Commercial and industrial lots are currently available, and 55+ acres are ready for pad development.
NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Accomack County
World-class Transportation and Connectivity Infrastructure
Virginia’s airports, railways, ports, and roads provide an extensive network of transport links to supply chain and physical distribution networks. For aerospace and UAS operations, Virginia’s prime infrastructure asset is the Mid-Atlantic 77 275 Regional Spaceport (MARS), one of only four facilities authorized by the FAA to launch rockets into space, with full-service commercial launch and drone testing facilities. Virginia ranks among the top 14 states for air cargo in the continental U.S. For corporate travelers, Virginia is serviced by 16 commercial airports, collectively providing nonstop flights to 100+ domestic and 50+ international destinations. Virginia is served by the third-largest port on the East Coast, two of the largest Class I railroads in the U.S., and six major interstate highways, including major North-South and East-West trucking routes.
H Greenbrier Valley
Johnson City ZEF
Commonwealth Center Propulsion Systems (CC
Roanoke Blacksburg Regional
The Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP)
Piedmont Tr Internation
Knoxville McGhee Tyson
Xelevate Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence
Washington Dulles International
Virginia Inland Port
Salisbury-Ocean City Wicomico Regional
UVA Hypersonics Research Complex
NASA Wallops Flight Facility Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport
Richmond Marine Terminal W24
Commonwealth Center for AdvancedJGG Manufacturing (CCAM)
r for Aerospace CAPS)
National Institute of Aerospace
Newport News-Williamsburg International
NASA Langley Research Center
The National Center for Coatings Application, Research, and Education (C-CARE)
Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center
Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) Port of Virginia - Hampton Roads Terminals
Norfolk International CPK
Aerospace and ASJ Unmanned Systems Assets
Commonwealth Center for Aerospace Propulsion Systems (CCAPS) 64
Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division
Shenandoah Valley Regional
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
Ronald Reagan Washington National HEF
General Aviation Airports The Port of Virginia Terminals
Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership, Blacksburg
Capewell Aerial Systems, Patrick County
An Attractive, Stable, and Predictable Operating Environment In 2021, Virginia was again named America’s Top State for Business by CNBC for its business-friendly regulations, stable tax environment, and competitive cost of doing business. Virginia is widely recognized as one of the best-run states in the country, ranked No. 2 for governance by U.S. News & World Report. Virginia has the 4th-lowest private-sector unionization rate in the country, competitive costs of doing business, and state and local taxes that are lower than the nationwide average.
Virginia is the northernmost right-to-work state along the I-95 corridor.
Sound economic policy and prudent financial management has earned Virginia a AAA credit rating since 1938 — longer than any other state.
Virginia has had a stable 6% corporate income tax rate, one of the lowest in the nation, since 1972.
An Exceptional Quality of Life
With a competitive cost of living, a mild, four-season climate, and unrivaled natural and cultural attractions, Virginia offers an exceptional quality of life. Virginia residents enjoy life in vibrant cities and picturesque small towns, within easy driving distance to scenic shorelines and mountain vistas. For these reasons and many others, Forbes ranked Virginia No. 1 in the U.S. for quality of life.
Tinker Cliffs, Botetourt County
The Omni Homestead Resort, Bath County
Virginia Creeper Trail, Washington County
Smith Mountain Lake, Bedford County
Carpenter Theatre, Richmond
Sandbridge, Virginia Beach
Wing, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet, launched the first commercial drone delivery service in the United States in 2019, offering deliveries in Christiansburg in Montgomery County.
Expertise • Collaboration • Innovation • Solutions The Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s (VEDP) team of dedicated and knowledgeable professionals is committed to Virginia’s economic success, and connects industry-leading businesses to the resources they need to make relocation and expansion successful endeavors. From site selection, customized research, cost analysis, and coordination with public and private partners, to discretionary incentives and workforce solutions, VEDP’s services are tailored to companies’ unique requirements. To learn more about VEDP’s expertise and resources, visit VEDP.org.
© January 2022