Aerospace & Defense Suppliers


The aerospace industry one of the largest sectors in the U.S., providing products and services for the military aircraft, missile, space, commercial airline, and general aviation markets.

Tier 1, 2 and 3 Aerospace Suppliers

Tier 1 suppliers provide parts directly to Aerospace Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Tier 2 suppliers provide parts to Tier 1 suppliers and others, rather than directly to OEM companies. Tier 3 typically provide products directly to Tier 2 suppliers.

Aerospace Defense Suppliers

Aerospace defense suppliers include those that supply manufacturers of combat and non-combat aircraft and related systems including transports, fighter aircraft, patrol aircraft, bombers, helicopters, unmanned aerial systems, and other platforms, as well as the design and manufacture of specialized avionics, radars, engines, guidance-and-control systems, reconnaissance and surveillance systems, and navigation systems.

Proximity to Markets

The Shoals, which includes Colbert and Lauderdale Counties, is located in Northwest Alabama, along the Tennessee River within easy driving distance to the following major metro areas:
  • Huntsville – 1 hour
  • Nashville – 2 hours
  • Memphis – 2.5 hours
  • Birmingham – 2.5 hours

Potential Aerospace Customers

  • Huntsville/Madison County, which is around an hour from The Shoals, is home to more than 400 aerospace/defense companies
  • Redstone Arsenal is a diversified Federal campus in Huntsville that is center for R&D, testing and engineering, and acquisition for Army aviation and missile defense

Area Aerospace/Defense Companies

Nacco Aerospace
Verus Works
Northrop Grumman

Transportation Infrastructure

The Shoals has access to robust transportation infrastructure as follows:


  • State highways 43 and 72 run through The Shoals and Highway 72 connects to I-65, which is nearby


  • Northwest Alabama Regional Airport is located in The Shoals, offering flights to/from Nashville and Atlanta
  • Following international airports within 2 hours of area:
    • Huntsville International Airport: 1 hour
    • Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport: 2 hours
    • Nashville International Airport: 2 hours


  • Autauga Northern Railroad and Tennessee Southern Railroad run through The Shoals


  • Port of Florence located in Lauderdale County along the Tennessee River  
  • Three river ports within three hours of The Shoals:
    • Port of Decatur: 1 hour
    • Port of Guntersville: 2 hours
    • Port of Memphis: 3 hours
  • Port of Huntsville Inland Port: 1 hour
    • Huntsville International Airport
    • International Intermodal Center (Air Cargo and Rail Cargo)
    • Jetplex Industrial Park

Available and Affordable Workforce

Labor Force

  • The Shoals has a labor force of over 150,000 within a 60-minute drive time
  • The Shoals Primary Labor Shed, comprised of eight counties, has a population of 350,000


  • The Shoals employs nearly 150 in the aerospace/defense sector with 50% growth over past 5 years (2014 – 2019) and 23.5% growth projected over next 5 years (2020 – 2025)
  • NAIDA region employs nearly 7,000 in the sector with 13% growth over past 5 years (2014 – 2019)
  • State of Alabama employs over 14,800 in the sector with 9.5% growth over past 5 years (2014 – 2019)

Higher Education and Training

Northwest Shoals Community College (NW-SCC)

  • Alabama FAME (Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education)
  • Applied Engineering and Machining
  • Industrial Systems Technology
  • Welding
  • Office of Strategic Partnerships and Industry Training provides customized training for manufacturers

University of North Alabama (UNA)

  • Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Technology
  • Dual Degree Engineering Program

Regional Educational Assets

  • Alabama Robotics Technology Park
  • University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) College of Engineering
  • Calhoun Community College
  • Athens State University

Utility Infrastructure

  • Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and its 22 distributors in North Alabama provide reasonable prices and reliability (99.999% since 2000) in The Shoals.
  • TVA electricity in the region is generated from three hydro-electric dams, Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, two natural gas energy centers and solar farms.

Product (Real Estate)

The Shoals EDA owns and controls four industrial parks in the Shoals area as well as a number of speculative buildings.
  • Of industrial property, sites range from 5 acres to 300+ acres
  • Shoals Research Airpark has over 300 acres available, which is located less than an hour from Huntsville
  • Florence-Lauderdale Industrial Park has 145 acres available, which is located less than an hour from Huntsville
  • Rogersville Business Park has over 130 acres available, which is located less than 45 minutes from Huntsville
  • Barton River Industrial Park has nearly 500 acres available, which is less than 1.5 hours from Huntsville
Available speculative building sizes range from 27,665 square feet to 250,000 square feet (expandable to 500,000+ square feet)

Business Environment

State of Alabama

  • #7 on Area Development magazine’s 2020 Best States for Business list
  • Business Facilities magazine 2019 State Rankings Report
    • #3 State Business Climate
    • #2 State for Workforce Training
    • #5 for Economic Growth Potential
  • State of the Year – Southern Business & Development (2019)
  • Deals of the Year – Southern Business & Development (2019)
    • Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA (Huntsville)
    • Amazon Fulfillment Center (Bessemer)
    • Airbus A220 (Mobile)
    • Mercedes-Benz EV Battery Assembly Plan (Bibb County)
  • Alabama is a right to work state