Analysts See Opportunities for Oklahoma in Military Aviation Industry

Article excerpt

Oklahoma has a strong position to take advantage of growth in the military aerospace industry, market expert Kevin Michaels told Oklahoma City civic and business leaders Tuesday.

There is opportunity for growth in this business - and there's an enormous amount of talent concentrated in this state, Michaels told a crowded hall on the final day of the Oklahoma Aerospace Summit and Expo downtown at the Cox Convention Center. A spokesman in Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin's office, one of the sponsors of the two-day event, said about 1,100 industry exhibitors and guests attended.

Michaels is co-founder of AeroStrategy and manages the company's North American offices out of Michigan. He has consulted with aerospace businesses and military agencies worldwide on maintenance, repair and overhaul, or MRO, issues that are also are important to Oklahoma.

The current active fleet of military aircraft in the Western Hemisphere numbers more than 39,000, he said, and 60 percent of the fleet is in North America and Europe. In the near future, that fleet is expected to shrink by at least 1,000 aircraft because of budget constraints, increased usage of unmanned aerial vehicles and more efficient network structures for military maneuvers. …