An industrial park in close proximity to the Springfield-Beckley municipal airport is primed to support a growing advanced air mobility industry in the area, including manufacturing that can create job opportunities, JobsOhio said.
The Airpark Ohio industrial park has received a SiteOhio authentication from JobsOhio in order to ensure the site will be free from any detriments that may slow or stop development.
“Advanced air mobility isn’t a future technology, it’s a technology that is here and evolving now, and Airpark Ohio will strengthen this state’s position as a leader in this rapidly evolving space,” said JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef.
The industrial park is near the future site of the National Advanced Air Mobility Center of Excellence that will be located at Springfield-Beckley. The $9.3 million project aims to build 30,000 square feet of office space and 25,000 square feet of hanger space to be used by both the Air Force and private industry for researching and developing advanced air mobility technology.
It is also expected to be used by other entities that are part of the program called Agility Prime. The Air Force launched the $35 million program in order to create and speed a commercial market for advanced air mobility aircraft.
A ground breaking ceremony was held for the center in August and it is expected to be operational by next fall. Local officials say that its proximity to the industrial park will allow for an easy transition from research and development to scaling and manufacturing.
“Springfield has become a nerve center for advanced air mobility, with testing capabilities and resources you can only find in Ohio. Airpark’s SiteOhio designation offers companies the opportunity to build their operations here and leverage all Springfield has to offer at a site that is ready-to-go,” said Elaine Bryant who is the executive vice president of Aerospace and Defense for the Dayton Development Coalition.
The industrial park has 96 acres zoned for light manufacturing, service, office and warehousing. It was once part of an area that housed a F-16 squadron and is within the radius of a new air traffic control tower.
That tower features precision landing systems and a military grade radar system that can verify the location of aircraft within a 60-mile radius of the site, according to a news release from JobsOhio.
The industrial park along with Springfield-Beckley benefits from a local Ohio Air National Guard presence along with its proximity to institutions such as Wright Patterson Airforce base in the Dayton area. The airport along with the region as a whole has seen continued investment over the years to accommodate the development of air mobility technology and drone development. That includes flight simulators, charging stations and radar systems.
That previous work to add infrastructure as well as programs such as Agility Prime and cheaper testing cost have garnered interest from universities and companies that want to get closer to the research and development of air mobility technology.
The idea is that as development and testing continues and that work sees more investment, companies that want to mass produce that technology will set up manufacturing facilities. Officials in the state and region say that Airpark Ohio is poised to support both current efforts around air mobility technology in the area as well as accommodate future manufacturing opportunities.