Georgia is home to more than 800 major aerospace companies, making it the No. 2 most attractive state for aerospace manufacturing.
The long list of aerospace companies in Georgia includes big names like Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT), Gulfstream Aerospace and Meggitt Polymers and Composites, but they aren't the only reason Georgia snagged one of the top spots on PricewaterhouseCoopers' 2019 aerospace manufacturing attractiveness rankings.
The state is also home to the world’s most-traveled airport, eight regional airports, expanding military bases and accessibility to the country’s fastest-growing major port, the Port of Savannah.
Companies are attracted to the state’s relatively low costs (notably, electricity and hourly wages) and a corporate tax rate of 5.7%, according to PwC's report.
Additionally, Georgia’s universities and colleges spend more than $2 billion annually in research and development. In October 2018, for example, Airbus collaborated with the Georgia Institute of Technology to open a new center to study aircraft design.
PwC, a multinational consultancy and accounting firm, conducts the study every year to assess where U.S. aerospace companies are investing for manufacturing facilities. In 2017, Georgia ranked No. 1 for aerospace manufacturing attractiveness on PwC's rankings. The state fell to No. 3 in 2018.
The Georgia Department of Economic Development say aerospace products are Georgia’s No. 1 export, valued at $9.1 billion, and the state’s second-largest manufacturing industry, generating a $57.5 billion economic impact.
In the last five years, Georgia has gained about 1,700 additional aerospace-related jobs because of companies expanding in the area.
Savannah-based Gulfstream Aerospace is Georgia's largest manufacturing employer with 10,250 employees, according to Atlanta Business Chronicle's 2018 Book of Lists.
PwC's data shows the U.S. aerospace and defense industry performed well in 2018, with exports totaling $151 billion, an increase of 5.8% from the previous year, accounting for 9% of U.S. exports and yielding a $90 billion trade surplus.