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Study Finds U.S. Companies Serving Global Aviation Customers

The U.S. maintenance sector is increasing its capability to serve the growing, global aviation industry. Seventy-three more FAA-certificated repair stations in the United States are approved by regulators to serve European customers than were at this time last year and the total number now exceeds 1,500, a new analysis by ARSA shows.

EASA-Approved Repair Stations – By State (Top 25)

Rank State EASA-Approved Repair Stations (#) Percentage of Repair Stations w/ EASA approval (%) Total Repair Station Employment in State
1 Florida  309 54 18,153
2 California  196 33 24,432
3 Texas  142 38 16,547
4 Arizona  67 47 5,924
5 Kansas  56 54 5,980
6 Connecticut  55 58 4,559
7 Oklahoma  49 40 11,804
7 Washington  49 45 8,642
9 New York  47 42 5,082
10 Ohio  44 34 7,183
11 Georgia  43 34 18,576
12 Illinois 40 38 3,163
13 Michigan  31 35 4,474
14 North Carolina  29 39 3,792
15 Alabama  25 45 4,754
15 Missouri  25 45 1,449
17 Tennessee  22 42 2,302
18 New Jersey  21 36 3,539
18 Indiana  21 38 2,685
18 Wisconsin  21 40 2,164
21 Massachusetts  20 36 2,103
22 Pennsylvania 19 21 2,589
23 Colorado  17 23 1,413
24 Kentucky  16 36 1,451
25 Nevada  14 42 717

ARSA found Florida, California and Texas holding firm at the top of the list as the states with the most maintenance companies approved to work on European-registered aircraft, engines, propellers and components. Arizona, Kansas, Connecticut, Oklahoma, Washington, New York and Ohio complete the top ten.

ARSA analyzed the list of FAA-certificated repair stations in the United States authorized by EASA to work on European-registered aviation products and articles. The association then correlated the data with industry employment figures developed by Oliver Wyman CAVOK. ARSA first conducted such an analysis of EASA approval holders in 2017 and continues renewing it annually.

Under international law, the state of an aircraft’s registry controls its maintenance. In order to work aviation products and articles registered to operate by a foreign civil aviation authority, a U.S. facility must be approved by that jurisdiction. A bilateral aviation safety agreement between the United States and European Union makes it easier and more efficient for U.S. facilities to obtain the necessary approval from EASA.

ARSA determined there are 1,507 repair stations with EASA approval across 47 of the 50 states, up from 1,437 last year. Overall, roughly one out of every three U.S. repair stations holds European certification. There are four states – including Connecticut, Florida and Kansas – in which 50 percent or more of maintenance facilities can perform work on European-registered aircraft or components. West Virginia, the fourth state, has a smaller aircraft maintenance industry but the highest percentage (72 percent) of EASA approval holders.

The increase in the number of U.S. EASA approval holders from last year comes despite the recent partial U.S. government shutdown. Given that FAA personnel play a central role in EASA certificates held under the bilateral agreement – it is possible for a repair station to apply for European as a “third country,” outside of the BASA’s scope – many ARSA members complained that the shutdown caused delays in the approval and reapproval process.

Nationwide, repair stations employ more than 188,700 workers. When those numbers are added to the roughly 30,300 mechanics working for airlines and the 69,200 employed in aviation parts manufacturing and distribution, the maintenance industry’s total workforce is approximately 288,200. More than 108,300 Americans are employed at maintenance companies in the top 10 states for EASA approvals.

“The data underscore the commitment of U.S. maintenance companies to expand their capabilities to serve a global customer base,” ARSA Executive Vice President Christian Klein said. “The increase in EASA approvals in the United States reflects the rising global demand for aviation maintenance services. Given their high level of technical proficiency, U.S. repair stations are well-positioned to capitalize on that demand.”

“The study underscores both the global nature of the aviation maintenance industry and how U.S. industry benefits from reducing regulatory inefficiencies across borders,” Klein said. “Increased cooperation and mutual recognition between regulators are critical to maintaining the positive trends.”

To review the ARSA-generated data, click here to download the excel file.

Previous ARSA Analysis...

6/20/18 - Report Shows Aviation Maintenance Connects U.S. Workers to Global Economy

June 20, 2018

Global trade in aviation maintenance creates jobs and business opportunities in every corner of the United States, a new analysis by ARSA shows. Florida, California and Texas top the list of states with the most maintenance companies serving European customers, ARSA found. Arizona, Connecticut, Kansas, New York, Washington, Georgia and Oklahoma round out the top ten.

ARSA analyzed the list of FAA-certificated repair stations in the United States by EASA to work on European-registered aircraft and components. The association then correlated the data with industry employment figures developed by Oliver Wyman’s CAVOK Division. ARSA conducted a similar analysis of EASA approval holders in 2017.

The association determined there are 1,437 repair stations with EASA approval across 47 of the 50 states. Overall, roughly one out of every three U.S. repair stations holds European certification. There are five states – including Connecticut, Florida, Kansas and Delaware – in which 50 percent or more of maintenance facilities can perform work on European-registered aircraft or components. West Virginia, the fifth state, has a smaller aircraft maintenance industry but the highest percentage (73 percent) of EASA approval holders.

Nationwide, repair stations employ more than 184,000 workers. When those numbers are added to the roughly 27,000 mechanics working for airlines and the 66,000 employed in aviation parts manufacturing and distribution, the maintenance industry’s total workforce is approximately 279,000. More than 110,000 Americans are employed at maintenance companies in the top 10 states for EASA approvals.

“Just as the aviation industry connects the world, the maintenance sector connects companies and workers throughout the United States to the global economy,” ARSA Executive Vice President Christian Klein said. “This analysis demonstrates the interconnectedness between American aviation business and European air operations. It shows us one of the many ways U.S. industry is well positioned to benefit from the expected growth in demand for maintenance. At the same time, the impact of any trade disruptions – for example, due to retaliation by foreign governments because of new U.S. laws or regulations targeting foreign repair stations – would be felt in all corners of the country.”

To review the ARSA-generated data, click here. The table below contains the top 25 states for EASA certificate holders:

EASA-Approved Repair Stations – By State (Top 25)
Rank State EASA-Approved Repair Stations (#) Percentage of Repair Stations w/ EASA approval (%) Total Repair Station Employment in State
1 Florida 293 52 17,879
2 California 196 33 24,944
3 Texas 128 34 15,909
4 Arizona 67 48 6,147
5 (tie) Connecticut 51 50 4,710
5 (tie) Kansas 51 53 5,408
7 New York 49 43 5,176
8 Washington 47 44 9,174
9 Georgia 42 38 16,774
10 Oklahoma 45 33 11,455
11 Ohio 42 32 6,686
12 Illinois 37 35 3,871
13 Michigan 31 35 4,208
14 North Carolina 26 37 3,655
15 Alabama 25 44 4,271
16 (tie) New Jersey 22 38 3,854
16 (tie) Missouri 22 38 1,446
18 (tie) Wisconsin 19 40 2,342
18 (tie) Tennessee 19 37 2,273
20 (tie) Pennsylvania 18 33 2,706
20 (tie) Indiana 18 19 2,572
22 (tie) Massachusetts 17 31 2,105
22 (tie) Kentucky 17 43 823
24 Colorado 16 21 1,421
25 Nevada 13 39 664

2/14/17 - ARSA Analysis Shows U.S.-wide Benefit of International Maintenance Trade

February 14, 2017

Workers and companies in almost every state benefit from international trade in aviation maintenance services, according to a new analysis by ARSA.  The findings underscore the broad economic impact of the aviation maintenance industry in communities throughout the United States, as well as the benefits of bilateral aviation safety agreements (BASA) that make government oversight more efficient.

The long-standing U.S.-EU BASA allows U.S. repair stations certificated by the FAA to more easily receive and maintain approval to work on European-registered aircraft and related components.  The BASA also makes oversight more efficient for government and industry by allowing the FAA and European regulators to share responsibilities. In addition to the EU, the United States has bilateral agreements with several other countries covering maintenance, flight operations and aircraft and environmental certification.

The ARSA analysis of the EASA’s list of U.S. approval holders found there are 1,460 repair stations spread across 47 of the 50 states authorized to work on European aircraft and components.  ARSA correlated the EASA data with industry employment figures developed by Oliver Wyman for the association and found that, collectively, there are more than 162,000 Americans employed by repair stations in the 25 states with the most EASA approvals (see table below).

“The positive impact of international trade on small businesses and workers in the aviation maintenance sector is one of the U.S. economy’s best kept secrets,” ARSA Executive Vice President Christian Klein said.  “When considering tax, trade, aviation or regulatory policy, it’s important for the White House and lawmakers on Capitol Hill to understand and consider that back-home impact.  Anything that undermines economic activity in this area is going to have negative repercussions in communities around the country.”

According to Oliver Wyman’s industry analysis, the vast majority of US. repair stations are small-medium-sized businesses and repair stations employ more than 186,000 workers nationwide.  When aircraft parts manufacturing and distribution and air carrier maintenance personnel are taken into account, the aviation maintenance industry has more than 277,000 workers and accounts for more than $44 billion in economic activity.

To learn more about the maintenance community and its place in the international marketplace, visit ARSA’s economic data center.

EASA-Approved Repair Stations – By State (Top 25)
Rank State EASA-Approved Repair Stations (#) Total Repair Station Employment in State  
1 Florida 291 16,393  
2 California 202 25,209  
3 Texas 141 16,847  
4 Arizona 68 6,052  
5 (tie) Connecticut 53 4,650  
5 (tie) Kansas 53 5,639  
7 New York 50 5,121  
8 Washington 48 9,707  
9 Georgia 46 17,141  
10 Oklahoma 41 11,187  
11 Ohio 39 6,461  
12 Illinois 38 4,044  
13 Michigan 32 4,310  
14 North Carolina 26 3,857  
15 Alabama 24 4,641  
16 New Jersey 22 3,907  
17 Colorado 21 1,394  
18 (tie) Massachusetts 20 2,185  
18 (tie) Tennessee 20 2,412  
20 (tie) Missouri 19 1,531  
20 (tie) Pennsylvania 19 3,222  
20 (tie) Wisconsin 19 2,423  
23 (tie) Indiana 16 2,747  
23 (tie) Kentucky 16 704  
25 Nevada 12 656  



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