Global aerospace leaders are calling Mississippi home in growing numbers. Compelling business advantages, like the state’s low operating costs, minimal tax burden, easy access to U.S. and international markets, and proximity to important military installations, have attracted numerous aerospace companies to the state. These companies are thriving as a result of Mississippi’s productive, well-trained workforce.

For years now every commercial airplane in the world has had at least one component made in Mississippi

Mississippi is home to some of the world’s most renowned names in aerospace: GE Aviation, Airbus Helicopters, Rolls-Royce and Lockheed Martin. All rely on our skilled and productive workforce and comprehensive workforce training, supportive business environment, strategic location, low startup and operation costs, and cutting-edge R&D.

Aerospace in Mississippi - Historical Timeline



Mississippi State University Selected As The Unmanned Aerial Systems Center Of Excellence

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has selected Mississippi State University as the location for its Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Center of Excellence.  At the civilian academic center, Mississippi State University will lead 13 other universities in helping the FAA research methods to integrate UAS into the national airspace.
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The Boeing Company Selects
Two Mississippi Research Institutions To Lead Research & Development On Composites

Two Mississippi research institutions have been selected by The Boeing Company to lead research and development on composites, with Mississippi State University hosting a Stitched Resin Infused Composite Research Center and the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) to serve as a technology incubator of next generation composite material systems.
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Aerospace Successes


SpaceX tests methane engines at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

April 21, 2014 – Commercial spaceflight company SpaceX began the company’s rocket engine testing program at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Hancock County. The stand SpaceX will be using is now one of the most sophisticated high-pressure testing facilities in the world. Read the full story >>

Rolls-Royce North America tests the Trent XWB at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

October 16, 2013 – “Our decision to first build, and now expand, the Rolls-Royce Outdoor Jet Engine Test Stand at Stennis embraces the spirit of partnership with the state of Mississippi. The relationship continues to grow, a direct result of a positive public-private partnership.” – James M. Guyette, Chairman, President & CEO of Rolls-Royce North America. Read full story >>

Unmanned Aerial Systems

MDA works with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) partners, both public and local, to further research and testing of UAS in the state. Companies that choose to test in Mississippi will find that the state has a wealth of expertise in UAS research, development and testing.

  • Camp Shelby, a state-owned military facility, is currently working with public and private customers to provide UAS testing opportunities.
  • Raspet Flight Research Laboratory at Mississippi State University is the public sponsor of a Certificate of Authorization (COA) for flight testing of the Heron, a Stark Aerospace UAS. Raspet often locates research staff on-site to support engineering and design and flight testing of large-scale UAS with companies, including MAV6.
  • Industry leaders such as Aurora Flight Sciences, Northrop Grumman Unmanned Systems and Stark Aerospace manufacture UAS in Mississippi.
  • Hinds Community College’s UAV Pilot Training Program is a partnership with Pearl River Community College and the Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center. This program offers both academic and hands-on curriculum and is available to both active military and civilians.
UAS Test Partners AEROspace

Aerospace Workforce

The state works with its network of 15 community colleges and universities to create customized training programs to meet companies’ specific needs. These programs equip employees with the skills they need to ensure the success of aerospace companies in the state. Mississippians now produce everything from helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles to composite jet engine components.

Mississippi Population 2,291,207 Median hourly wage for production occupations in Mississippi is $13.60

Search Community College Training Programs by Industry Search a Detailed Area Analysis

Community Colleges

Mississippi’s 15 community colleges offer 26,403 training classes and serve more than 550 companies with customized training solutions.

A number of Mississippi’s community colleges offer programs of particular interest to aerospace- and aviation-related companies, such as Northwest Mississippi Community College’s Aviation Maintenance Technology program and Hinds Community College’s Aviation Maintenance and Avionics Technology Program.

Both Hinds Community College and Northwest Mississippi Community College offer airframe and power plant programs. As a result of Airbus’ recent location along the Gulf Coast, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College will begin an airframe license-training program in the fall of 2015.

Mississippi Research Universities

Mississippi is home to four major public research universities: the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi State University in Starkville, the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg and Jackson State University in Jackson.

Each university plays a vital role in Mississippi’s economic and workforce development. From providing cutting-edge research to training support in new industry skills, the state’s universities are ready to work with your business to help it grow to the next level.

Raspet Flight Research Laboratory

The Raspet Flight Research Laboratory at Mississippi State University specializes in the design and testing of materials to support rapid prototyping for lighter-weight aircraft. The business incubator at Raspet also offers technical training, manufacturing space and other assets to various aerospace industries. Raspet has partnered with such companies as Airbus Helicopters, GE Aviation and Aurora Flight sciences. GE Aviation, Aurora Flight Sciences and Stark Aerospace launched their Mississippi operations at the Raspet Laboratory.

Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems

The Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS) at Mississippi State University helps businesses improve engineering, manufacturing and design technologies. CAVS includes an entire department specializing in the simulation and experimentation of aerospace materials.

Center for Manufacturing Excellence

The Center for Manufacturing Excellence (CME) at the University of Mississippi offers a degree in engineering preparing students for careers in manufacturing. The CME is advised by numerous industry executives including those from nearby GE Aviation and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi. The CME also has extensive research facilities, numerous existing co-op programs and the flexibility to provide extension programs to companies that wish to work with CME staff and students.

Mississippi Polymer Institute

The Mississippi Polymer Institute (MPI) at the University of Southern Mississippi is a national leader in the study of composites, advanced materials, polymers and plastics. GE Aviation, Boeing, Cytec Resins, Northrup Grumman, ATK and SELEX Galileo have partnered before with the Mississippi Polymer Institute.

Engineering Programs

Mississippi’s four public universities offer undergraduate degree programs certified by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology in 16 different fields.

Mississippi State University The University of Mississippi Jackson State University The University of Southern Mississippi
Degree Program (Starkville, MS) (Oxford, MS) (Jackson, MS) (Hattiesburg, MS)
Aerospace Engineering check
Architectural Engineering Technology check
Biological Engineering check
Chemical Engineering check check
Civil Engineering check check check
Computer Engineering check check check
Construction Engineering Technology check
Electrical Engineering check check
Electronics Engineering Technology check
Geological Engineering check
Industrial Engineering check
Industrial Engineering Technology check
Mechanical Engineering check check
Polymer Science and Engineering check
Software Engineering check
Petroleum Engineering (to begin in 2015) check


Mississippi is centrally located between the East and West coasts and provides easy access to major U.S. markets including Mobile, Alabama; New Orleans, Louisiana; Atlanta, Georgia; Nashville, Tennessee; Dallas, Texas; Houston, Texas; and St. Louis, Missouri. The U.S. distribution hub of Memphis, Tennessee, is just across Mississippi’s northern state line, and the Gulf of Mexico forms the state’s southern border. The state’s transportation infrastructure provides unparalleled distribution and delivery for manufacturers.

Mississippi is centrally located between the East and West coasts and provides easy access to major U.S. markets including Mobile, Alabama; New Orleans, Louisiana; Atlanta, Georgia; Nashville, Tennessee; Dallas, Texas; Houston, Texas; and St. Louis, Missouri. The U.S. distribution hub of Memphis, Tennessee, is just across Mississippi’s northern state line, and the Gulf of Mexico forms the state’s southern border.

Mississippi Incentives

The State of Mississippi offers a variety of grant, loan and tax incentive programs designed to assist businesses creating jobs and making capital investments in the state. Below are commonly used business incentives programs within the aerospace industry.

For a more comprehensive list of incentives for aerospace companies, click here.

Aerospace Initiative Incentive Program

Provides a 10-year state income tax exemption, a 10-year franchise tax exemption and an exemption from sales and use tax for the startup of the facility. This is available to companies that manufacture or assemble aerospace components, as well as provide research, development or training services locating to or expanding in Mississippi. View a detailed pdf.

Advantage Jobs Program

The Advantage Jobs Program provides for a rebate of a percentage of Mississippi payroll to qualified aerospace manufacturers for a period of up to 10 years. Jobs must meet or exceed the average annual wage of the state or the county in which the company locates, whichever is lower.

On-the-Job Training (OJT) Reimbursement

OJT reimbursements can help offset training costs for new employees, depending on their wages and the length of training. The community college and/or WIN Job Center will work with the company to develop and negotiate a training and service plan and funding agreement. View a detailed pdf.

Standard Property Tax Exemption

For aerospace industries and other eligible businesses that locate or expand in the state, certain property tax exemptions are available for up to 10 years at the discretion of local authorities. These exemptions may be granted on real and tangible property being used in the state. View a detailed pdf.

View a complete list of Mississippi business incentive programs here.