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Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing in Tijuana 2016 White Paper

Aerospace & Defense Manufacturing in Tijuana and Mexico

Advantages of Nearshoring in Mexico, Key Highlights and 2016 Industry Overview.
Why are Aerospace Manufacturers Expanding to Mexico?

Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing in Mexico

Mexico’s aerospace industry has sustained a strong reputation for decades, positioning itself as the leading country for aerospace manufacturing and the sixth largest supplier of aerospace products to the US, China, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea. Some of the major global aerospace firms have been in the region since the beginning including: Gulfstream (28 years) Rockwell Collins (48 years), Chromalloy (38 years) and Honeywell (31 years).

Major international and US defense contractors such as BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and Delphi, established operations in Mexico during the late 80’s and early 90’s. It hasn’t stopped there – earlier this year ICON Aircraft joined other major manufacturers expanding into Mexico.

Top Aerospace Companies in Mexico and Baja California

The State of Baja California has the largest concentration of aerospace companies, and therefore a large aerospace supply chain. It is home to over 82 aerospace companies and more than 28,000 employees for design, assembly, manufacture and MRO. Baja California is known for being the Mexican State with the most dynamic binational aerospace economic activity, excellent access to NAFTA and easy access logistically for raw materials, components and machinery. Baja California has also the only Binational Aerospace Cluster in Mexico.

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Baja California Aerospace Cluster

The United States attracts two thirds of Baja California's exports. The rest goes to Canada, England, France and Germany, among other countries. It should be noted that exports to these countries have maintained a sustained growth since 2002. Baja California focuses its innovation capabilities on complete integration aircraft testing and interior design. In terms of manufacturing, the state specializes in precision machining, electrical and power systems, hydraulic systems and interiors and metal plate conformation processes. Some companies have internal capabilities for special processes, thermal and surface treatments. They also perform MRO activities on engine parts.
 
This progress is further fueled by the Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA), under which manufactured aerospace parts, components, systems, completely assembled and/or manufactured aircrafts are certified by the Mexico's aeronautical authority in collaboration with US and other aerospace regulation agencies. CPI’s client BAP Aerospace de Mexico (Barry Avenue Plating) made sure their Tijuana facility carried the same compliance and certifications as their US plant including, Nadcap, AS 9011 and ISO 9002 certifications. Aircraft manufacturers repair facilities in Baja California have also been approved by the FAA.

Aerospace Manufacturing Products and Sectors in Mexico

  • Thermal processes
  • Aerospace components
  • Aircraft components
  • Aircraft composite structures
  • Assembly or manufacture of harnesses and wires
  • Airframe parts
  • Components for landing systems
  • Machining and metal turbine parts
  • Precision equipment
  • Audio and video systems, electronic components
  • Maintenance and repair of aircraft interiors
  • Maintenance and repair of turbines
  • … And more!
International Suppliers for Every Industry

A Workforce Educated Just for You

The region boasts a school-to-work pipeline aerospace industry well supported by infrastructure and universities. Honeywell has established a testing lab and wind tunnel in Mexicali and partners directly with the well-regarded universities in the region to funnel talent directly into their workforce. The regional government is working to supplement overall development which includes the industry's design and engineering output. It also focuses on providing well-trained and efficient labor to companies expanding into Mexico by introducing advanced aerospace curriculums in leading training and education institutions. This workforce will be ideal for handling simple to complex aerospace jobs.

For all these reasons and many more, we invite you to visit us so you can see first-hand why Baja California is the Mexican frontier for aerospace and defense manufacturing:

  • Proximity to the California and North American markets
  • Infrastructure and communication development
  • Young, educated and service oriented population
  • Knowledge and technology transfer capabilities
  • Pro-business environment and aerospace cluster integration
  • Manufacturing flexibility
Industrial Plant and Product Certifications

NAFTA and Free Import for Aerospace Parts

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has allowed various industrial sectors free or low tariffs for the import and export of products since 1994. Additionally, Mexico created the Special Aerospace Tariff Section 9806.00.06 & .05 that allows for free imports into Mexico to assemble or manufacture aircraft or aircraft parts. This special section also allows for goods to be imported with no tariffs for the maintenance and repair of aircraft and aircraft parts.

This means you can bring your aerospace manufacturing operations to Mexico without incurring additional costs on parts and components supply through the import process!

At Co-Production International, Inc. we know the fine requirements for aerospace and defense manufacturing industries. From the accreditations and certifications required by the FAA, ITAC, to Nadcap, we’ve helped companies like ICON Aircraft and BAP Aerospace open successful and profitable operations in Mexico.

“ICON is making a significant investment in its Mexico operations. The economic impact is over $150M over the next 10 years. In addition, ICON will leverage this location to develop Mexican business partners and qualified suppliers for other aircraft components.”

“We plan to replicate the same certification and compliance standards in our Tijuana facility and the infrastructure in Tijuana is world-class and we have had no problem finding highly skilled workers with plating expertise.”

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