Aerospace is Hot in South Carolina!

Lots of Good News:  The summertime temperature is not the only thing hot in South Carolina.  The aerospace industry here continues its steady growth.  In the month of June, key legislation was passed, a Boeing supplier announced South Carolina as its new home and the State Department of Commerce promoted South Carolina at the Paris Air Show.  Just today, The Boeing Company was announced as the title sponsor for the 2015 South Carolina Aerospace Industry Conference and Expo, and Governor Nikki Haley was announced as the opening speaker.

Earlier this month, Governor Haley signed a bill into law exempting sales tax on FAA Part 91 aircraft parts.  This action makes existing South Carolina MRO operations more competitive with neighboring states where the exemption was already in place, such as Georgia, Tennessee and Florida.  It also makes the state more attractive to MROs looking to relocate or expand.  The press attention generated by the legislation has been extensive across business and industry specific publications which will help to create “buzz” about South Carolina.

A couple of weeks ago now, we heralded the GKN Aerospace expansion in Orangeburg, as they announced their new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility to produce inlet lip skins for the Boeing 737 MAX and 777X.

Team South Carolina was represented at the Paris Air Show this month.  The South Carolina Department of Commerce and several of the regional economic development alliances participated in the event and promoted the Palmetto State on the global stage.

I recently called for a new initiative in South Carolina, to create our state’s first FAA-approved “Aviation Magnet High School.” There’s much work to do on this, there are a few high schools in SC that may be close to qualifying with existing programs, and it’s a great way to keep building our technical workforce. More aerospace companies will keep coming to our state when they see the strength of our workforce development efforts.

Save the date, and register!  As a reminder, the South Carolina Aerospace Conference and Expo is just around the corner on August 26 & 27 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. The agenda includes nationally-renowned experts, a technical symposium with keynote speakers from Boeing, Ingersoll and TenCate, as well as nationally-recognized speakers. The SC Aerospace Expo is a wonderful opportunity to present your company’s capabilities.  Last year’s exhibit space sold out, so make sure to sign up soon.  Full conference information is available on the conference website. Click here for details.

Thank you for your support of the South Carolina aerospace cluster.  Let’s keep aerospace growing and prospering in South Carolina!

Steve Townes

Chairman, SCAerospace
President & CEO, Ranger Aerospace