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  • Our Strategy

    Washington is in the enviable position of leading the world in a highly valuable and sought after growth industry. Production of the 737 MAX and 777X, as well as its revolutionary carbon fiber wings, in Washington ensures that the state will be at the forefront of commercial aerospace manufacturing for decades to come.

    We must leverage this opportunity and act in a strategic, orchestrated and sustained way to hold off competition from around the United States and the entire world. We must diversify the cluster to reduce our economic dependence on a single employer and protect against future work placement decisions and the inevitable cyclical downturns of the commercial airplane industry.


The Washington Aerospace Partnership worked to develop and supports the implementation of the Washington Aerospace Industry Strategy. By working together to implement its goals and specific strategies outlined in this document, we will protect and grow the aerospace industry in Washington, ensuring our place as the global aerospace leader today and for the next century.


Washington is the undisputed center of the commercial aircraft industry in the United States. In 2015, 94% of all the commercial airplanes with more than 100 seats built in the United States were assembled and took their maiden flights from Washington State.

Air travel is expected to grow by over 5 percent per year for the next 20 years, and the world’s airlines will purchase nearly 30,000 new jet aircraft with more than 100 seats. Washington Aerospace Partnership is committed to ensuring that Washington remains the center of U.S. aircraft assembly and continues to deliver a very large share of those new aircraft.

In addition, Washington state is home to leading companies in emerging sectors of the aerospace industry. Insitu, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Boeing Company, produces more than 700 unmanned aerial vehicles at its facilities in Bingen, Washuington and anchors a growing UAS sector. Some of the leading names in commercial space, including Blue Origin, Aerojet Rocketdyne, and Space X, are either headquartered or have major facilities in the state. And, we are building the pathway to a greener future as home to ASCENT, the FAA’s Center of Excellence for Alternative Jet Fuels and the Environment.


In 2015, The Boeing Company delivered 762 airplanes to customers throughout the world, 718 of which were assembled in the company’s plants in Renton and Everett, Washington. Even with the company’s decision to build some 787 at its North Charleston, South Carolina plant, Washington will continue to produce half of the 787s, as well as all of the airplanes in the 737, 747, 767, and 777 families.

The aerospace industry is made up of 1,350 aerospace and related companies located in 35 of the 39 counties in Washington. Direct employment at these firms stands at 136,500 employees. Each job in the industry generates nearly three additional jobs throughout the economy, so that aerospace supports approximately 267,000 jobs throughout the state.

Not only is aerospace a large employer, but it also is a very well-paying sector with great career prospects for its workers. About 35 percent of aerospace employment falls under R&D, with thousands of engineers and scientists designing the next generation of aircraft. Thousands of highly skilled production workers bring home paychecks well above average. Many people in the Boeing workforce are third and fourth generation employees, a testament to the quality and loyalty of the state’s aerospace workforce.


Aerospace is an outstanding industry for the future economy of Washington. The major airframe producers Boeing, as well as Airbus, Embraer and Bombardier all project global increases in travel of about 5 percent per year, with annual passenger miles nearly tripling over the next 20 years. To meet this demand for new travel, and to replace aging and inefficient aircraft, airlines will purchase new planes at a rate of nearly 1,500 per year. Boeing itself estimates a global market for aircraft topping 38,000 with a value in excess of $5.6 trillion.


Boeing’s decision to build the 737 MAX and 777X in Washington leaves our dominant position in the global aerospace industry secure for decades to come. However, we must remain vigilant. A new Boeing airplane program could be announced as early as 2018. At the same time, we continue to work to diversify the industry by supporting space, unmanned systems and other emerging sectors of the industry. The Washington Aerospace Industry Strategy provides a five-year plan to protect and grow this essential industry in our state.