In today’s highly competitive global business environment, a truly great place to do business must offer more than basic business infrastructure needed for bottom-line success.

In the US, aerospace and defence business leaders are finding that Arizona offers a unique combination of elements, including a low-cost, pro-business environment, modern infrastructure, skilled workforce, strong educational systems and targeted incentives. All this, plus an extraordinary quality of life, make Arizona a magnet for companies focused on the demands of tomorrow.


“Arizona offers great flying weather and a competitive business climate for aerospace companies. There is a cluster of top aerospace companies located here that serves as a supply base and provides synergies on business issues,” says Mary Baldwin, community and government relations at Boeing.

Pro-business environment

Arizona’s strong aerospace and defence presence has roots in both political and social culture with a long tradition of support for the critical mission of high-technology companies. Arizona is proud of its significant historic and ongoing military presence, including Luke Air Force Base, Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Yuma Proving Grounds, Fort Huachuca and the Barry M Goldwater Range Complex.

The pro-aerospace environment has produced 10 consecutive years of reduced taxes or legislation favourable to the aerospace and defence industry. Most recently, a new Sales Factor Bill was enacted allowing multi-state, multi-national companies doing business in Arizona to opt to ‘super-weight’ their sales to reduce income tax liability to the state. In addition, Arizona is one of the only states with a no ‘throw-back’ provision, which can free certain international sales from income taxation.

Competitive advantage

Arizona is the only US state that has enacted special legislation that makes qualified businesses located in a foreign trade zone or sub-zone eligible for an 80% reduction in property taxes. The reduction lasts for the entire time the company operates in the zone or sub-zone and produces an effective tax rate significantly lower than virtually any other jurisdiction in the US. In addition, the state’s military reuse zone programme offers significant tax credits and other operating cost savings that can make an Arizona location the premier business address for aerospace companies.

Strategic location

At the heart of the west’s population explosion, international airports are located in Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma.

In addition, Arizona provides superior road access to major markets throughout the west, including California and Mexico. Most major western cities are reachable within one day or less for long-haul trucking.

Quality workforce

Arizona offers a high quality, young and talented workforce that supports the research and development necessary to keep up with accelerating product cycles and global competition. The strong post-secondary educational system provides a steady stream of skilled professionals. Significant higher education assets include Arizona State University, the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, Embry Riddle University and the Thunderbird-Garvin School of International Management.

The universities conduct sponsored research for a number of government departments and agencies, including NASA, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Department of Defense. Aerospace research areas include aerodynamics, propulsion, space technologies, advanced computing, aerospace structures, communications, avionics, embedded systems and nanotechnology.

Come fly with us

Arizona has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to support the health and growth of its aerospace and defence companies. With uncompromising support from political, academic and industry leaders, aerospace soars in Arizona.


Arizona Department of Commerce

Tel: +1 602 771 1124