Texas Boasts Strong Airport Grid, Aeronautics Support
Texas is a big state, and while it’s easy to find good roads from one end to the other, plenty of people prefer to do their traveling to, from and within its borders in the air.
Small wonder. The state has more than 380 airports, 27 of them commercial, and 24 with U.S. Customs service. Two of the best known, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, are major international hubs, and are among the planet’s 20 busiest airports.
The airline industry knows how to maximize Texas’ many business-friendly incentives, and two major carriers – American and Southwest – call it home. Other major aviation-related employers in the state include ExpressJet, Boeing, Gulfstream, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, American Eurocopter, BAE Systems and Bell Helicopter.
Texas’ general aviation and commercial service activity account for more than 783,700 jobs, $20.6 billion in payroll and $48.8 billion in economic output, and the state is home to more than 48,000 pilots. Airlines and industrial manufacturers never have far to go to find employees, either, as 20 Texas colleges and universities, as well as 36 high schools, offer coursework, certificate and degree programs in aeronautics and related fields.
To keep that pipeline expanding, the state has created the Office of Aerospace, Aviation & Defense. As a part of the Economic Development & Tourism Division of the governor’s office, the department plays a growing and vital role in connecting agencies and employers to colleges, universities and other partners to ensure that everyone has a seat at the table when it comes to mapping the future of this important industry sector.