How Covington County Supports the Aviation Industry

How Covington County Supports the Aviation Industry Main Photo

26 Jun 2023


Covington County, Alabama, is a hidden gem in the state's aviation industry. Located in the southern part of the state, Covington County, is home to several aviation companies and has become a hub for aviation training and education. This makes Covington County ideal for growing aviation companies and those looking for an affordable location to start an aviation business.

Benefits of operating an aviation business in Covington County, Alabama

  • The Alabama Aviation College of Andalusia, located on the South Alabama Regional Airport (79J),  is a training facility that offers dual enrollment in aviation maintenance instruction to  high school students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades leading to A&P certification. .
  • The College also offers aircraft maintenance and avionics technology programs to train adult students and give them the skills necessary to work in the aviation industry.
  • South Alabama Regional Airport provides access and opportunity.
  • Fort Novosel (Fort Rucker) is adjacent to the county, creating workforce recruitment and business opportunities.
  • We have affordable sites for new businesses.
  • Incentives are available. 
  • Fast speed-to-market with an easy permitting process.

The South Alabama Regional Airport (SARA)

SARA is a general aviation airport located in Sanford, Alabama between the cities of Andalusia and Opp and is home to several aviation companies, including Covington Maintenance Center - a C-130 MRO,  McDermott Aviation of Australia, which provides fire and helicopter services world wide, and Isolair, a supplier of quality helicopter accessories .  

A significant impact on the local economy

The county's aviation industry has a significant impact on the local economy. The sector employs people from all over the region.  SARA, the general aviation airport, ranks third for air traffic and fourth for economic impact to the community in the state. The industry provides a range of high-paying jobs. 

Local governments have recognized the importance of the aviation industry and have taken steps to support its growth. In 2005, the county built new hangars at SARA to accommodate larger aircraft and attract new aviation companies to the area. The runway has been extended to 6000 feet and improvements are always in motion. The community works with the State and the Alabama Department of Commerce to provide incentives to aviation companies interested in doing business in  the county.

Covington County: An attractive location for aviation companies

The future looks bright for Covington County's aviation industry. With the expansion of SARA's facilities and the continued growth of the Alabama Aviation College, the county is poised to become an even bigger player in the region's aviation industry. The county's location, with easy access to military installations, major highways and ports, also makes it attractive for aviation companies looking to do business in the southeastern United States’ aviation corridor .

Learn more about the benefits of locating in Covington County and for site selection assistance.