New Mexico has long been a haven for aviation and aerospace enthusiasts, researchers, and major companies. The state has been involved in space exploration since President Kennedy's first pledge to put a man on the moon. Lovelace Clinic, now Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, tested the nation's first astronauts, and the two national labs and the Air Force Research Laboratory have developed equipment for many NASA missions. These days, New Mexico is still at the forefront of space exploration with Spaceport America, the world’s first commercial spaceport between Socorro and Las Cruces, leading the way.
The business climate in New Mexico encourages and supports strong and resilient industries. The city of Albuquerque has set aside 300 acres for the development of the local aviation cluster and the state offers a variety of financial incentives as part of its commitment to developing its economic base. A few of these incentives include:
- The Aircraft Manufacturer Tax Deduction provides a gross receipts (sales tax) deduction for all receipts of an aircraft manufacturer, or affiliate, from the sale of aircraft or aircraft parts, services performed on aircraft or aircraft components, aircraft flight support, pilot training, or maintenance training services.
- The Aerospace Research and Development Tax Deduction allows a gross receipts tax deduction for sales of R&D services sold to, or for resale to, a 501 c(3) organization for resale to the US Air Force.
- The Aircraft Manufacturing Investment Tax Deductionis a state incentive available for qualifying manufacturing operations that provides a credit equal to five per cent of the value of qualified equipment and other property used directly and exclusively in a manufacturing operation
Aviation and Aerospace Top Employers
With the presence of Kirtland Air Force Base and the Air Force Research Lab, the development of the avionics/aerospace industry in New Mexico has flourished.
Top Industry Players Include:
- Aero Mechanical Industries
- Aspen Avionics
- Boeing SVS
- Eclipse Aerospace
- UT Aerospace ISR Systems
- Honeywell Aerospace
- Lockheed Martin
- Northrop Grumman Information Technology
- Sun Country Industries
Other Major Aviation and Aerospace Firms
- Applied Research Associates Inc
- Applied Technology Associates
- Ball Aerospace
- DeVore Aviation Corporation of America
- Source One Spares
- TMC Design Corporation
Aviation and Aerospace Resources
- Air Force Research Laboratory - Home to the Space Vehicles Directorate and the Directed Energy Directorate
- American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Albuquerque section) - AIAA advocates for technological leadership, and a strong and proactive international focus in the aerospace industry
- Kirtland Air Force Base Space & Missile Systems Center
- Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories
- New Mexico Department of Transportation Aviation Division
- Professional Aerospace Contractors Association - (PACA) is the dominant industry trade group in the Southwest. Founded in 1984 to promote a healthy and vigorous relationship between the aerospace industry and government agencies in New Mexico.
- University of New Mexico's Institutes of Meteoritics, Astrophysics, and Space & Nuclear Power Studies which does VLSI work for NASA
Education & Job Training
- Central New Mexico Community College - Aerospace and Aviation Technology
- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- NMSU College of Engineering Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
- UNM Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies