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“It is no wonder that San Diego produces so many astronauts, from the first Latina in space to the first person to fly to the moon.We’re a hub of engineering innovation and aviation experience."

Francis French, Director of Education, San Diego Air & Space Museum
June 7, 2017

Aerospace has a long history in San Diego, dating back to the early 1900s when Ryan Airlines built the Spirit of St. Louis and Reuben Fleet brought Consolidated Aircraft Corporation to Lindbergh Field. Since then, San Diego’s aerospace industry has been an integral part of the region’s – and the world’s – innovation and defense economies.
Home to some of the world’s largest aerospace, aircraft, and research and development companies, San Diego is a North American aerospace hub. San Diego is also part of a much larger aerospace ecosystem that includes robust operations throughout Southern California. Southern California’s aerospace industry employs more than 85,000 people, and in 2014, the industry’s output totaled $39.9 billion.1 Tacking on to the Southern California success, Baja California, Mexico is one of the world’s leading aerospace manufacturing hubs – home to Honeywell, Cobham and Eaton, to name a few.
In March 2016, in partnership with Los Angeles EDC, San Diego Regional EDC released a study assessing the aerospace industry across Southern California. Read the full study and fact sheet.

Industry Highlights & Contributions

  • World-changing technology: Since the first solo-nonstop transatlantic crossing in 1927 developed by Ryan Air, the San Diego aerospace industry remains a hub of world-changing technology.
  • Job growth: From 2004-2014, San Diego’s aerospace industry has seen nearly a 67 percent growth in employment, driven in large part by unmanned systems technology.1
  • New wave: California’s aerospace industry is evolving to include a new wave of innovators pushing the envelope in new space, commercial satellites, unmanned systems and rockets. New competition is helping California reinvigorate it’s dominate legacy of aerospace innovation.



Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International

AUVSI is the world’s largest nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the unmanned systems and robotics community. Serving more than 7,500 members from government organizations, industry and academia, AUVSI is committed to fostering, developing and promoting unmanned systems and robotic technologies.

National Defense Industrial Association, San Diego Chapter

NDIA is the trusted leader in defense and national security associations. NDIA, comprised of its affiliates, chapters, divisions, and 1,600 corporate and 85,000 individual members, is a non-partisan, nonprofit, educational association that aims to educate its constituencies on all aspects of national security.

San Diego Military Advisory Council
SDMAC supports, promotes and represents the common business and other interests of the military, its quality of life issues and the defense industry community in the San Diego area.


Tijuana Economic Development Corporation
The Tijuana Economic Development Corporation is a non-profit private organization, founded in 1989, dedicated to facilitating industrial operations and business opportunities within the Cali Baja binational mega-region. With a major focus on aerospace manufacturing, Tijuana EDC offers free consultation services on how to do business in Mexico and how to identify market opportunities in Tijuana.