Business Florida 2022 - The Regions
Bay • Calhoun • Escambia • Franklin • Gadsen • Gulf • Holmes • Jackson • Jefferson • Leon • Liberty • Okaloosa • Santa Rosa • Wakulla • Walton • Washington
There’s a lot to like about Florida’s Northwest, especially if you’re looking for the right place to site a business. This region offers plenty of room to grow and a ready pool of highly proficient workers — many of whom honed their skills in the military and, at retirement, elected to join one of the many aviation, technology and logistics firms clustered here. And if that’s not enough to pique your interest, consider this: Northwest Florida is just a darn pretty place to live. Imagine gazing out on a 150-mile stretch of uninterrupted sugar white sand along the bright blue Gulf of Mexico every day. Would you really want to live and work somewhere else?
Aviation and Defense
Florida’s Northwest is home to eight military installations, including NAS Pensacola, NAS Whiting Field, Hurlburt Field, Eglin AFB and Tyndall AFB, which together account for some 56,000 military and civilian jobs. Adding to these are the many thousands more jobs generated by privately owned aerospace manufacturers, aircraft maintenance firms and defense contractors that have also chosen to cluster here.
Anticipated developments in this industry sector include:
• Continuing construction on ST Engineering’s aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities at Pensacola International Airport. The 177,000-sq.-ft. Hangar 2 is due for completion in September 2022 with hangars 3 and 4 to follow by June 2024.
• Delivery of 31 TH-73A helicopters by Leonardo Helicopters US to Naval Air Station Whiting Field before the end of 2021 as part of its commitment to replace the Navy’s aging helicopter fleet over four years. Plans call for Leonardo to move its headquarters and support center to Whiting Aviation Park over the next few years.
KEY PLAYERS: BAE Systems, Famborough, U.K.; The Boeing Company, Chicago, Ill.; Leonardo Helicopters US, Philadelphia, Pa.; ST Engineering, Singapore