Queretaro’s Aerospace Manufacturing Industry: An Industry Flying High

August 06, 2019

Mexico’s aerospace manufacturing foundations began in the 1970s and has seen exponential growth since that time as manufacturers such as Rockwell Collins, Honeywell, and Bombardier have flocked to the country. A hub for aerospace expertise and investment, Queretaro is a haven for manufacturers looking to reap the benefits of a flourishing industry.

A Powerhouse for Big Names in Aerospace Manufacturing

Queretaro is regarded as the rising high-tech center for aerospace manufacturing and the epicenter for new aerospace innovation. Aerospace production plants in the region use the latest technologies, from 3D printing and mobile data collection to material design for strong, light aerospace parts. Innovation is driven by the presence of a significant number of subject matter experts that have created a robust aerospace cluster.

At the beginning of 2018, there were almost 300 aerospace companies in Mexico. The Queretaro aerospace cluster, in particular, is comprised of 85 companies and organizations:

  • 24 suppliers (Tier 1, 2, and 3 companies)
  • 8 special process companies
  • 4 original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)
  • 5 maintenance, repair, and operations companies (MROs)
  • 12 research and design centers
  • 19 special services companies
  • 6 raw materials providers
  • 7 academic institutions

Though the region is small, its presence is mighty: major aerospace manufacturers have established Queretaro as their manufacturing home, including Bombardier, GE IQ, Safran, Airbus, Delta, Eurocopter, Aernnova, Meggitt, ITR, Cormer, Regent, and Liberty Spring among others.

A Region of Aerospace Manufacturing Experts

Mexico’s aerospace industry employs 54,000 people directly within its top five aerospace states. During the 2016-2017 academic cycle, 96,467 students graduated with technical and university degrees in engineering, manufacturing, and construction. Queretaro, in particular, is home to more than 100 training centers, 22 universities and technical schools, and 52 research and development facilities. In-depth, highly specialized aerospace education and training are a feature unique to Queretaro, and one particularly sought after by the cluster’s manufacturers.

The Aeronautical University of Queretaro (UNAQ), for example, is well-established as the region’s top training facility turning out skilled personnel with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Ph.D.s, and the technical training required for staff working on aerospace factory floors.  

Queretaro’s local government is highly supportive of educational initiatives. The government has dedicated resources, established policies, and sponsored education for development and training specifically in aerospace parts manufacturing. As a result, the region’s direct labor force offers a variety of much-needed skill at competitive wages.

These investments in human capital are clear indicators of Queretaro’s unique strengths as an aerospace manufacturing hub, especially when the product of manufacture is highly technical in nature. Manufacturers look to established regions steeped in industry-specific knowledge, and Queretaro is the epitome of such an area for aerospace manufacturing in Mexico. 

Queretaro: Attracting Massive Aerospace Investment

Overall, Mexico is one of the top five aerospace investment countries in the world, and the 14th largest aerospace manufacturer in the world. Total exports are projected to exceed USD $8 billion by 2020 with destinations of the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom, and France topping the list. Queretaro is a well-established part of the Mexican aerospace machine: it is the 5th aerospace hub in the world after Toulouse, Seattle, Montreal, and Wichita, and also takes the 4th place spot in “Top Cities for Aerospace Investment Worldwide.”

According to MexicoNow, the state of Queretaro attracts 50% of the foreign direct investment in Mexico, specifically for the aerospace industry. Over the last ten years, this investment has created a highly competitive environment that has driven innovation and growth in the region. As of 2018, at least USD $250 million in aerospace manufacturing projects were planned, in addition to the nearly USD $2 billion in investment already in the pipeline.

Given this type of investment, it is no wonder that aerospace manufacturers continue to flock to the region.

Supported by Well-Connected Infrastructure

Queretaro’s central geography lends it a highly efficient logistics framework. It is favored for its proximity to Mexico City (a short two-hour drive) and location along interstates 45 and 57, two highways that also connect to the United States and Canada. It is equidistant from ports serving both Europe and Asia and has easy access to Mexico’s international rail service.

Queretaro is also home to the Queretaro Intercontinental Airport, which services over 1 million travelers per year and is one of the fastest-growing airports in Mexico. The airport has a transport terminal for goods moving between the country’s northern and southern regions. At the terminal, the customs office prepares import and export materials and enables the aerospace cluster easy access to markets around the world.

Though its local population hovers around 2 million, the state can attract 45 million people from a radius of 350 kilometers. As one of the most peaceful regions in Mexico, Queretaro offers excellent security and high quality of life: two factors critical to creating its unique business environment.

How to Establish Aerospace Manufacturing Operations in Queretaro

Queretaro’s attractive aerospace environment makes it a popular choice for establishing operations. Tetakawi offers several resources for determining if Queretaro is an ideal location for your business.

  1. Get informed about the aerospace industry as a whole on our aerospace manufacturing in Mexico page, which covers the basics on the industry’s history and background
  2. Learn more about Queretaro’s benefits in our comprehensive ebook, Everything You Need to Know About Manufacturing in Queretaro.

Contact us to talk to an expert in aerospace manufacturing operations in Queretaro and get your questions answered.

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