|The I-10 showcase
With all the aerospace and aviation activity in the four states, the Interstate 10 region
between Southeast Louisiana and Northwest Florida is the only location where the
aerospace interests of all four intersect. It’s a 350-mile stretch along the northern
Gulf of Mexico and something of a showcase for all four where growth in one area of
the corridor can benefit all four.
The I-10 region has a long history of involvement in aviation. It’s where the Navy
established its first, and for a long time only, air station. It’s home to two NASA
operations involved in building and testing the next generation of NASA spaceships,
and where the new breed of private space companies builds and tests space
It has significant military aviation activities, including pilot training and aerial weapons
development. It hosts military commands, including U.S. Air Force Special Operations.
It’s where research is conducted not only in aerospace but in related fields like high-
performance materials, artificial intelligence/robotics, geospatial applications and
Many of the region’s aerospace activities put it in select “clubs.” With an Airbus
assembly line, it joins a group of sites where large passenger jets are assembled,
and having two NASA facilities puts it in the small spaceflight group. It’s also the only
region that trains pilots to fly the fifth-generation F-35 and F-22.
And to their credit, educators in the region are taking steps to ensure the region has
ample opportunities to train students for careers in aerospace and related fields.