New Mexico is one of the most exciting and proven locations for UAV/UAS development in the United States today. Known for its broad and growing aerospace and defense cluster, New Mexico employs many of the nation’s brightest workers from both the public and private sectors. Much of this depth of talent lies in the growing base of aerospace and instrument manufacturers, as well as the numerous federal laboratories and research facilities in the state.

Aerospace has been a part of New Mexico’s economy since the 1940s, when the Holloman and Kirtland bases were established as flight training centers for WWII pilots. Since then, New Mexico has had a long history of testing, maintaining and managing air and space systems, and is home to two Air Force research labs. The state also offers a unique combination of assets for the UAV/UAS industry: restricted air space, the first FAA approved UAS test center, a perfect climate, over 20 federal, state, and privately funded laboratories that offer a large diversity of aerospace and related technologies, and Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport.

Quick Facts
  • Largest restricted airspace
  • Nation’s first and most experienced FAA approved UAS test center
  • Two Air Force Research Labs
  • Ideal flying climate and visibility
  • 20 federal state and privately funded laboratories
  • Spaceport America—the 1st purpose-built commercial spaceport
  • Aerospace Engineering Graduate Program at New Mexico State University—the only one available in the state and in western Texas

Major Employers
  1. Raytheon Ktech
  2. Honeywell Aerospace
  3. Aersale
  4. Virgin Galactic
  5. Bendix/King
  6. Goodrich Aerospace
  7. Boeing
  8. NASA White Sands
  9. Lockheed Martin
  10. Northrop Grumman
  11. L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace
  12. General Dynamics
  13. Northrop Grumman
  14. Eclipse Aerospace
  15. Applied Research Associates
  16. Google (formerly Titan Aerospace)
  17. Jacobs Technology
  18. Emerging Technology Ventures (formerly FRST)
  19. Aspen Avionics
  20. AeroParts

State Assets

National Laboratories

Test Facilities

Air Force Bases

Industry-Specific Incentives

Aircraft Deductions

  • Receipts from selling aircraft parts or maintenance services for aircraft or aircraft parts; Receipts of an aircraft manufacturer from selling; Aircraft flight support, pilot training or maintenance training services.
  • Receipts from the sale of or from maintaining, refurbishing, remodeling or otherwise modifying a commercial or military carrier over 10,000 pounds gross landing weight
  • Fifty percent (50%) of gross receipts from selling other aircraft
  • Fifty-five percent (55%) of the receipts from selling jet fuel for use in turboprop or jet engines until June 30, 2017; forty percent (40%) after June 30, 2017

Military Acquisition Program Tax Deduction
Receipts from transformational acquisition programs performing research and development, testing, and evaluation at New Mexico major range and test facility bases pursuant to contracts entered into with the U. S. Department of Defense may be deducted from gross receipts.

Research and Development Tax Deduction
Aerospace services are the research and development services sold or for resale to an organization for resale by the organization to the U.S. Air Force. When R&D services are sold to Phillips Laboratory for resale to the Air Force, the seller’s receipts are deductible. If the R&D services are sold to an intermediary for resale to Phillips Laboratory for resale to the Air Force, those receipts are also deductible.

Space Gross Receipts Tax Deductions
There are four separate deductions connected with the operation of a spaceport in New Mexico. The four deductions are:

  1. Receipts from launching, operating or recovering space vehicles or payloads
  2. Receipts from preparing a payload in New Mexico
  3. Receipts from operating a spaceport in New Mexico
  4. Receipts from the provision of research, development, testing and evaluation services for the United States Air Force Operationally Responsive Space Program

For more information on all incentives New Mexico has to offer, click here.


icon_pdfMap: New Mexico Air Space

icon_pdfBrochure: New Mexico Unmanned Systems

icon_pdfBrochure: Commercial Spaceflight