Broken Arrow Technology & Aerospace Industries

Aerospace and high-tech companies, some launched in local garages, grow and flourish in Broken Arrow.

Laura Hill
On Friday, November 15, 2013 - 12:09

When it comes to industry in Broken Arrow, the sky's the limit, and also the basis for a booming high-tech manufacturing/service sector.

Aerospace-related companies and industries employing groundbreaking technology are among the area's leading employers, and a big part of Broken Arrow's economic development future.

"These have been an important part of Broken Arrow for a long time," says Kinnee Tilly, senior vice president, economic development, at the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce. "It's been exciting to watch how many of these companies have grown from small individual concerns into major corporations. We're very fortunate to have them here. And we're on the cusp of more exciting developments ahead in this area."

Broken Arrow Companies Go International

Drawn to Broken Arrow's dedicated workforce, educated population, convenient location and quality of life are many companies that Tilly cites as primary job creators, including major players on the international scene.

Flight Safety International provides more than 1 million hours of aviation training to commercial, military and government customers in 154 countries.  CSI Aerospace, founded in Broken Arrow and now a subsidiary of HEICO, the giant aerospace manufacturer, is the only U.S. source of repair and refurbishment for the vital pitot tubes that determine aircraft speed, and other critical aircraft components. And L-3 AMI specializes in production and design of simulated instruments and training system hardware for marine, aeronautical and other applications.

The mission of Tactical Electronics is simple: "To preserve our world by protecting those who protect us." TE's Hemlock facility's four divisions (training, products, research and development, aviation) employ 45 workers.

Its first product, a pole camera, is still among its most popular. But the company now also offers law enforcement and military training, security products and electronics training (such as IED awareness). Its aviation division's RAPTR, a small unmanned helicopter, has multiple military, law enforcement, commercial and agricultural applications. TE plans further expansion and credits its Broken Arrow home as a big part of its success.

"For what we do, it's a great spot," says Addie Ventris, TE marketing manager. "It's a growing, striving community with a lot of opportunities. Our clients love coming here, because they can get in and out so quickly yet still have a big city nearby. And from an employment standpoint, people love to raise their families here."

Advantages for Business

Among other major high-tech companies here, Access Optics is a prime producer of precision optics, medical devices and nanostructures. And Air Hygiene provides high-tech air emissions testing services for energy companies in all 50 states and around the world. Still, the company has permanently located its headquarters in Broken Arrow.

"Everything we identified as positives when we moved here have proven true," says company President Quinn Bierman. "We have great location to resources, vendors and a welcoming community. The Chamber of Commerce has helped open doors to local, state and even national opportunities for Air Hygiene.

"We are very proud to represent Broken Arrow all over the world with our clients, and plan to host hundreds of them into our offices as we continue to grow our training services and expand our testing capabilities and products."  


Laura Hill is a former reporter/columnist for the Tennessean and a contributor to Journal Communications publications since 1996.