Detroit Region Aerotropolis Annual Report Shows Strong Growth

The Detroit Region Aerotropolis Corp., a public-private economic development partnership between four communities in two counties based in Romulus, released its 2021 annual report today, showing strong growth on its investments in and around Detroit Metro and Willow Run airports.
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Ford Ion Park, the company's global battery center, is the largest project announced within the Detroit Region Aerotropolis Corp. zone. // Courtesy of Ford Motor Co.
Ford Ion Park, the company’s global battery center, is the largest project announced within the Detroit Region Aerotropolis Corp. zone in 2021. // Courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

The Detroit Region Aerotropolis Corp., a public-private economic development partnership between four communities in two counties based in Romulus, released its 2021 annual report today, showing strong growth on its investments in and around Detroit Metro and Willow Run airports.

“The daily work of supporting greenfield expansion by actively marketing 6,000 acres of development-ready land centered in a world-class network of transportation infrastructure remains,” says Christopher Girdwood, executive director of the partnership. He says the cooperative has created 500 new jobs, and had $250 million in capital investment in 2021 in southeast Michigan.

In July, Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn announced the Detroit Aerotropolis region would house its new global battery center, Ion Park, aimed at accelerating the company’s research and development of battery cell technology and manufacturing.

“Ford already is delivering on our plan to lead the electric revolution with strong new vehicles including Mustang Mach-E, 2022 E-Transit available late 2021 and the 2022 F-150 Lightning available from spring next year,” says Anand Sankaran, director of Ford Ion Park.

“The new lab will help Ford speed up the battery development process to deliver even more capable, affordable batteries and is part of Ford’s renewed commitment to making Michigan a centerpiece of its focus on EVs.”

Additionally, Cox Automotive, based in Atlanta, is building its EV battery service center in the area.

Since January 2020, the region has licensed the AirHub platform from Detroit’s Airspace Link to establish and test new low-altitude infrastructure. Data from the communities, county, state, local and commercial sources were collected, processed, and analyzed to identify relevant hazards and risks associated with unmanned aircraft systems operations.

In August, Zing Drone Deliveries and DroneDek mailbox systems worked in tandem to offer golfers on the course in Taylor beverages and snacks using drone flights from the clubhouse.

“Whether you are an Aerotropolis partner or a company looking to expand in Southeast Michigan, we invite you to explore this report to gain a better understanding of our region and join us in celebrating the successes of 2021,” Girdwood says.

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