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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — Port San Antonio, the vast technology campus and industrial airport located just southwest of the Alamo City’s downtown, recently showcased leading efforts to connect innovations in digital security, robotics, and other applied sciences based in the San Antonio region.


The Port led a delegation of businesses and educational partner organizations as part of Aviation Week’s MRO Americas 2024 convention in Chicago, Illinois. The event is the world’s premier gathering for technologies that support the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of the global fleets of aircraft.

San Antonio is one of America’s fastest-growing cities and has diverse and mature industry sectors. In addition to playing a leading role in the development of modern aviation throughout the past century, the region is home to significant industry clusters that are driving global innovation in aviation and an array of other sectors. Among them are cybersecurity, computing, space technology and next generation aeromedical transportation systems.

Port San Antonio’s exhibit at MRO Americas included the following:


At MRO Americas, the Port highlighted its collaboration with aerospace leader StandardAero — a partnership 25+ years in the making. 

StandardAero's vast Port operations site is among the world's leading locales for military and commercial aircraft engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services. Opened in 1999, the operation occupies large former Air Force facilities on the Tech Port campus and provides world-class services for the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security. 

StandardAero's campus at the Port includes a highly specialized array of facilities to test commercial and military aircraft engines, including those of the F110-100 project.

The company continues to grow its presence while inspiring, attracting and preparing new San Antonio-based talent with its customized in-house Aviation Mechanic Training Program, which entails a comprehensive 12-week program featuring a variety of experiences ranging from classroom learning to hands-on training with tooling, equipment and engines — including groundbreaking augmented reality technology.

The training program houses five major engine MRO programs that serve both commercial and military customers under more than 810,000 square feet of industrial space and is rapidly expanding as it also adds major new engine maintenance programs

Augmented reality technology on display by StandardAero at MRO Americas 2024.

A recent graduate of StandardAero's Aviation Mechanic Training Program.

StandardAero launched its Aviation Mechanic Training Program in June 2023 and can support up to 200 new mechanics annually. The company started the program to help meet the need for additional maintenance workers at its facility in San Antonio, as well as for other company locations in the future.

Port San Antonio President and CEO Jim Perschbach (right) is joined by Dan Gonzales (left) and Marc Drobny (center) of StandardAero during the Military Aviation Logistics and Maintenance Symposium at MRO Americas 2024.


Central to the Port’s vision and StandardAero’s growth plans to inspire, attract and prepare new talent, educational nonprofit Kelly Heritage Foundation — which honors Kelly Air Force Base's legacy and Tech Port's future by raising and distributing funds to support educational and career opportunities — has funded several educational programs over the past year, including a new drone program developed by the Dee Howard Foundation and a computer build event that allowed students to build, and then take home, their own state-of-the-art personal computer valued at approximately $3,000 each.

Stephanie Garcia of Port San Antonio provides information on the Dee Howard Foundation drone program at MRO Americas 2024.


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At MRO Americas, the Boeing Center at Tech Port, a state-of-the-art innovation center in the heart of the Port campus, also took center stage. The facility was completed in 2022 and spans more than 130,000 square feet as a strategic site like no other in the nation that leverages human capital, industry expertise and a broad range of capabilities in education. 

This collaborative space is accelerating the development of new technologies and serves as a showroom to sell innovations similar to those showcased at MRO Americas and connect them to global markets, particularly in the aviation, energy, defense, cybersecurity, robotics, manufacturing and biomedical sectors.

Boeing Center at Tech Port (above). The large building provides multiple spaces to host different types of activities, including the following: conventions, product launches and other large gatherings; spaces for different stakeholders to prototype and showcase new technologies; meeting rooms and classrooms; and spaces, including a state-of-the art LAN gaming center and adjacent food hall, for technology enthusiasts to gather and socialize.


Components of Boeing Center at Tech Port include a 3,500-seat arena/conference venue, a publicly accessible industry showroom and collaborative spaces where different industries can work together in the development of new applied technologies in aerospace and other disciplines. 

Boeing Center at Tech Port provides industries and partners on the Port campus and beyond with a place to conduct training and public demonstrations to strengthen collaborations, increase the understanding of emerging technologies, particularly the application of new breakthroughs to enhance capabilities in mature sectors, and serve as a showcase for new approaches that can be adopted by others.


Located in the heart of the Port’s 1,900-acre industrial campus, Boeing Center at Tech Port is surrounded by leading names in aerospace, education, defense and other advanced industries.

The facility is anchored by a 3,500-seat modern technology arena that can be configured for different uses, including esports competitions, concerts, product launches and large training programs. Retractable seating allows the space to host conventions and conferences as well.

The Boeing Center at Tech Port arena is the largest space in the nation purpose-built for esports. In April 2024, the venue hosted the R20 Premier League Grand Finals the largest high school esports tournament in San Antonio history.

The arena has hosted an array of industry events since opening in May 2022, including Battle for Texas — a tournament for the Overwatch League that determined the top-ranked esports team in Texas. Subsequent industry and esports events held at the arena include the following:

  • FORCECON22: The first-of-its-kind event promoted synergies between the Department of Defense, private tech firms and academia in advancing innovation and research.
  • Innovation Rodeo: Entrepreneurial servicemembers from across the nation took part in a Shark Tank-style competition to pitch their innovations and win a share of a prize pool totaling over $1 million.
  • Battle for Texas: The first esports tournament held at Boeing Center at Tech Port, Battle for Texas saw the Dallas Fuel and Houston Outlaws vie to be the #1 team in the state.
  • Cyber Future Summit: Over a thousand leading experts from around the world came together to share their technologies and best practices for defending critical assets from cyberattacks.
  • 13th and 14th Annual San Antonio Mayor's Cyber Cup: This event welcomed students who were among the region's participants in CyberPatriot, a yearlong nationwide defensive cybersecurity competition. 
  • 2023 San Antonio Aviation and Aerospace Hall of Fame: Hosted by the Dee Howard Foundation, the event welcomed over 500 local leaders, teachers and students to honor local aerospace innovators while preparing the next generation of talent to take flight.
  • Build Your Future Computer Build: One hundred middle and high school students from several local school districts were selected as the first group of participants in an exciting new program that allowed them to build, and then take home, a state-of-the-art personal computer.
  • TechFuel 2023 Competition: The event saw an array of companies take part in a Shark Tank-style competition as they pitched innovations in industries such as aerospace, biosciences and more. 
  • R20 Premier League Grand Finals: Seven finalist teams battled for top honors in the region as they sought to advance to the State Championship organized by the Texas Scholastic Esports Federation.

The 14th Annual San Antonio Mayor's Cyber Cup and College/Tech Fair, which featured participants in the yearlong nationwide defensive cybersecurity competition CyberPatriot XVI, took place at Tech Port Arena in March 2024. 


A key component of the facility is the participation of accelerator Capital Factory, whose . The Austin-based accelerator Center for Defense Innovation (CDI) is housed within the collaborative lab space at Boeing Center at Tech Port.

Programming led by Capital Factory allows an array of startups to better collaborate with one-another, research partners, mature enterprises, the Department of Defense and other entities. Similarly, activations by Capital Factory rely on the lab space, as well as the adjacent museum, classroom spaces, LAN gaming center and arena, to showcase innovations developed by its stakeholders to an array of audiences, including potential buyers regionally, nationally and globally.

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Local entrepreneurs exchange ideas during a panel discussion at a Defense Academy workshop hosted by Capital Factory. The accelerator’s presence at Boeing Center at Tech Port allows local startups to collaborate and share their technologies with an array of potential buyers, including the Department of Defense and mature industries.

It is also an important platform to accelerate and significantly grow regional educational initiatives focused on aerospace and an array of other technologies—from innovative STEM programs for young people launched by Port-based San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology (SAMSAT) to advanced training for seasoned professionals within the U.S. Air Force and other entities.


Boeing Center at Tech Port has quickly emerged as the nation's top esports gaming venue, thanks in part to a top-tier LAN gaming center that has attracted some of the most proficient players from around the world. Boeing Center at Tech Port is the largest facility in the nation purpose-built from the ground up to host an array of esports activities.

lan center

esports 2

MRO Americas 2024 attendees experienced a sneak peek of the LAN Gaming Center courtesy of SAMSAT Esports. 


In 2022, SAMSAT launched AREA 21, which is an expansive space that features large-scale 3-D printing demonstrations, a cybersecurity operations center that simulates real-life scenarios and threats, self-driving vehicles, robotics exhibits and flight simulators, among other innovations developed locally. 


Photo credit: San Antonio Express-News.

AREA 21 has the capacity to accommodate well over 150,000 K-12 visiting students every year through activities that include enrichment programs coordinated with all area school districts, summer camps and internship and volunteer opportunities. 

AREA 21 has also enhanced the range of exhibits that give visitors a close-up, hands-on experience of industries on the Port campus and across the region. The WEX Foundation and Astroport, cybersecurity leader CACIPlus One RoboticsNorthworks AutomationAndy Robot and Southwest Research Institute are among the organizations who have contributed to the continually evolving set of exhibits and programs that showcase ongoing developments in San Antonio's tech community.


Flight simulator at AREA 21, located within Boeing Center at Tech Port. At MRO Americas 2023, Port San Antonio is featuring a similar electric vertical take-off and landing flight simulator, courtesy of SAMSAT.

Furthermore, AREA 21 is strengthening Boeing Center at Tech Port's growing profile as a destination for regional, national and global innovators, and it is becoming a home to a vibrant mix of activities that connect industries, educators, the public and potential buyers across the nation and around the world while bolstering San Antonio's tech ecosystem.


Area students take part in educational programs at AREA 21’s security operations center simulator. 


A vertiport to host passenger and cargo electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs) and a modern multi-story office tower are among the Port's ambitious development plans that will further grow the region's profile as a global innovation destination.

The new facilities will support an array of operations hosting thousands of additional workers who are advancing nationally-important projects in fields already thriving on the Port's vast campus: aerospace, space-based manufacturing, cybersecurity, energy, robotics and other applied technologies.

The planned facilities represent hundreds of millions of dollars in additional investments by the Port, which is focused on ensuring the participation of enterprises of all sizes from across the region. 

The first of these projects — dubbed Innovation Tower — was approved by the Port's Board of Directors in April 2023 and is now in the pre-development phase with global real estate development partner Trammell Crow Company (TCC). Along with design architect firm Pelli Clarke & Partners, the Port is working toward refining demand and design concepts for the ambitious project. 

Conceptual rendering of an upcoming multi-story office building near the Port's main entrance at General Hudnell Drive. Credit: Port San Antonio/Pelli Clarke and Partners. 

The planned tower will be a marquee centerpiece for the region's growing profile in advanced technologies and will create opportunities for an array of local businesses. Its development and construction come at a time when the Port has attracted substantial demand for space as its customer base grows at an accelerated pace. Since 2017, approximately 9,000 new jobs have been added on the campus, bringing the current employment base to 18,000.


Conceptual rendering of the upcoming vertiport / fixed-base operator at Port San Antonio, able to accommodate traditional winged aircraft and a new generation of passenger electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs). 

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