Lafayette Region Aerospace & Aviation

Home » Economic Development » Key Industries » Lafayette Region Aerospace & Aviation

Fly Forward in Acadiana

Due in large part to its robust oil and gas industry, Acadiana – located in South Central Louisiana along the Gulf of Mexico – boasts a thriving aviation industry. The region’s major employers include a diverse mix of industry from healthcare to construction. Aviation investments in the area include:

PHI, Inc.

Headquartered in Lafayette for over 60 years, PHI has flown over 12 million rotary wing flight hours, more than any private entity worldwide. In addition to operations in the U.S., the company operates in 43 countries across the globe. Every day, PHI helicopters fly up to 250 miles into the Gulf of Mexico’s international waters providing transportation, air medical, and technical services to offshore oil and gas companies.


A world leader in the niche market of aviation exterior painting, AvEx has been located at Acadiana Regional Airport (ARA) in New Iberia for over 25 years. Taking advantage of ARA’s 8,000-foot runway, AvEx serves the jet fleets of industry giants such as Boeing, FedEx, and Southwest Airlines.

Bristow Group's Americas Region

Comprising operations in North America, South America, Latin America and Trinidad, Bristow is headquartered in New Iberia. It has operated for over 50 years in North America, and primarily provides crew transport services to offshore drilling rigs and production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Clients consist of international, independent and major integrated oil and gas companies. Bristow maintains advanced flight-following systems and widespread and strategically located offshore fuel stations in the Acadiana region.

Bold Incentives

Acadiana values its aviation industry and will align state and local resources to provide customized incentive packages for businesses looking to grow. A few standard incentives are outlined below:

Quality Jobs Rebate

The Quality Jobs program offers a cash rebate for companies that create well-paid jobs and promote economic development in Louisiana.

Industrial Tax Exemption Program

Provides a 100% property tax exemption, including 100% of school taxes, for ten years.

Digital Interactive Media and Software Development Incentive

The nation’s strongest, most comprehensive inventive for software development. Using this, software development companies of all sizes gain a competitive edge with no cap or minimum requirement for entry.

You can find a full list of standard incentives by visiting our incentives page:

Quality Workforce

A right-to-work state for more than three decades, Louisiana ranks in the Top 10 for lowest rates of private workforce unionization. It is also home to LED FastStart, the nation’s No. 1 state workforce development program, which creates customized workforce recruitment, screening, and training solutions. With a growing labor force of nearly 318,000 in the region, competitive wages, and a strong education pipeline, Acadiana’s workforce is waiting for you.

International School for Aviation Excellence

In January 2016, South Louisiana Community College purchased Bristow Academy’s New Iberia location and its assets for $2.9 million to establish its International School for Aviation Excellence, which will confer two-year associates degrees to helicopter pilots. This initiative will also expand the college’s aviation maintenance technician (AMT) program to develop a cadre of aerospace professionals who meet and exceed the industry standards and workforce demands of today and tomorrow.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

UL Lafayette’s College of Engineering is its largest undergraduate program boasting over 2,700 undergraduate students, 177 master’s students, and 41 PhD students representing 45 states and 25 countries. The college focuses on providing “hands-on” learning experiences with a strong emphasis on internship and cooperative learning experiences. Over 200 companies regularly recruit its Engineering and Technology graduates.

Learn more about our capable workforce:

Access and Infrastructure

Acadiana is a prime location for your business. A logistical hub, the region is strategically located at the intersection of Interstates 10 and 49. It provides access to 38 interior states via the Mississippi River and countless international markets via the Gulf of Mexico. Within the Acadiana region alone are: TWO commercial airports, TWO Class I rail systems, FIVE coastal ports, and TWO inland ports.

To Learn More, Contact:

Megan Duhon
Director, Economic Development

A Better Bottom Line

  1. No. 4: Lowest Industrial Electricity Rate – U.S. Energy Information Administration, EIA
  2. No. 1: Workforce Training Program – Business Facilities
  3. No. 7: Best Cost of Doing Business – Business Facilities
  4. No. 4: Favorable Regulatory Environment – Area Development

The Right Location is Waiting for You

The Acadiana Regional Airport alone includes a 125-acre Industrial Park, and over 1,200 acres of land available for development.