Oklahoma’s Aerospace and Defense Industry to be highlighted at annual event

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Oklahoma’s annual Aerospace and Defense Industry Day will be held May 16 in Midwest City on the Rose State College campus.

Many of the state’s top aviation and aerospace entities have participated in past Aerospace Days. The special day will be hosted by the U.S. Air Force’s Strategic Alternate Source Programming Office.

This year’s event will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Jeanie Webb Student Union on the campus located at 1910 Hudiburg Drive in Midwest City.

At previous Aerospace Days, hundreds of industry leaders, military personnel and state officials exchanged ideas about how to grow the state’s aviation, aerospace and defense industry.

Aerospace and defense make up the state’s second-largest industry. The special day offers an opportunity for Oklahoma military, aerospace companies, private and commercial pilots, airport managers, municipal officials, drone pilots, educators, flying clubs and other users of the Oklahoma Airport System to meet one-on-one.

Among those expected to be on hand for the May event are representatives of Tinker Air Force Base and its Air Force Supply Chain leadership, the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex and its business office.

In the past, such organizations as the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission (OAC), Central Oklahoma Air Force Association Gerrity Chapter #215, AAR Corp, Aviation Training Consulting, Covington Aircraft, Enid Regional Development Alliance, KRATOS, Oklahoma Defense Industry Association, Pratt & Whitney, and Spirit Aerosystems were on hand.

The Boeing Company in 2021 declared the aviation maintenance sector as one of the fastest-growing industries in the U.S. and the world. Its 2021 Pilot and Technician Outlook Study predicted that in the next 20 years, 1.2 million jobs would be needed in the two categories.

In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics outlines an 11% growth rate for the aviation technician career with a median salary of $67,000 with the potential for greater than $150,000. Through vision and grit, Oklahoma has made the aerospace industry second only to the oil and gas industry in jobs and revenue. To grow the aerospace industry, and make Oklahoma the destination for companies to move, the workforce must be robust.