New online tool illustrates global reach of Washington state aerospace industry

Leading state for aerospace exports produces 95% of the commercial airplanes built in North America, serves every major manufacturer in the world

The impact of Washington state’s nearly $50 billion aerospace industry is evident across the globe. A new interactive map on the Washington State Department of Commerce’s marketing website allows users to explore details of the relationship that America’s largest aerospace exporter state has with the rest of the world.

Visit the new webpage here:
“Billions of dollars of aerospace products are imported to and exported from the state each year,” said Alex Pietsch, director of the state’s Office of Aerospace. “Dozens of foreign-owned companies have invested in facilities and employ thousands of people here. And, while 95% of the commercial airplanes built in North America last year were made in Washington, the parts that go in to these planes came from two dozen countries. We wanted to create a tool that illustrates all of this and showcase the amazing reach of our aerospace industry.”

The new webpage employs interactive maps developed with software from Seattle-based LiveStories to highlight Washington’s aerospace imports and exports, the foreign-owned enterprises located in the state, and where the various components of Washington-assembled aircraft originate. The vast majority of this activity relates to Boeing commercial airplane production, but the site also includes other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that produce aircraft in the state, including Insitu’s unmanned aerial vehicles, and general aviation manufacturers Cub Crafters and Glasair.

In 2014, Washington imported $5.1 billion in aerospace-related products and exported $48.8 billion. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington was third overall behind Texas and California in 2014, exporting products valued at $90.5 billion. More than 54 percent of the Washington’s exports last year were aerospace products ($48.8 billion), by far leading the nation and more than quadrupling the next largest aerospace exporting state (California, $11.1 billion).


Top 5 Aerospace Product Import Countries 2014 ($ millions) Top 5 Aerospace Product Export Countries 2014 ($ millions )
Japan $2,474 China $10,047
France $675 Japan $3,119
Canada $519 United Arab Emirates $2,902
China $294 Qatar $2,295
Korea $283 United Kingdom $2,033


France, Canada, Japan and China lead all nations in terms of the number of unique airplane components that are provided to Boeing and other Washington OEMs. France also leads in the number of its companies that have established manufacturing, support facilities, and/or other operations in the state.

“We hope this interactive tool will provide the public a greater understanding of the importance of our state’s economic development work overseas,” said Brian Bonlender, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce. “Maintaining an international presence, whether on a trade mission or at industry events such as the Paris Air Show, helps our companies connect with new customers and markets for their products. Being on the ground in other countries is essential to growing our aerospace cluster and enticing foreign-owned companies to invest here.”


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