It is also expected to be used by other entities that are part of the program called Agility Prime. The Air Force launched the $35 million program in order to create and speed a commercial market for advanced air mobility aircraft.
A ground breaking ceremony was held for the center in August and it is expected to be operational by next fall. Local officials say that its proximity to the industrial park will allow for an easy transition from research and development to scaling and manufacturing.
“Springfield has become a nerve center for advanced air mobility, with testing capabilities and resources you can only find in Ohio. Airpark’s SiteOhio designation offers companies the opportunity to build their operations here and leverage all Springfield has to offer at a site that is ready-to-go,” said Elaine Bryant who is the executive vice president of Aerospace and Defense for the Dayton Development Coalition.
The industrial park has 96 acres zoned for light manufacturing, service, office and warehousing. It was once part of an area that housed a F-16 squadron and is within the radius of a new air traffic control tower.
That tower features precision landing systems and a military grade radar system that can verify the location of aircraft within a 60-mile radius of the site, according to a news release from JobsOhio.
The industrial park along with Springfield-Beckley benefits from a local Ohio Air National Guard presence along with its proximity to institutions such as Wright Patterson Airforce base in the Dayton area. The airport along with the region as a whole has seen continued investment over the years to accommodate the development of air mobility technology and drone development. That includes flight simulators, charging stations and radar systems.
That previous work to add infrastructure as well as programs such as Agility Prime and cheaper testing cost have garnered interest from universities and companies that want to get closer to the research and development of air mobility technology.
The idea is that as development and testing continues and that work sees more investment, companies that want to mass produce that technology will set up manufacturing facilities. Officials in the state and region say that Airpark Ohio is poised to support both current efforts around air mobility technology in the area as well as accommodate future manufacturing opportunities.