Elaborating the literature on innovation as the important indicator of industrial competitiveness, this paper suggests that innovation and human capital are related, key issues. In the context of the paper the relationship between human capital and innovation capacity in defense and aviation industry in Ankara which is a special sector among others in many respects is researched. The paper rest on data of field survey realized with SMEs of the sector in Ankara. The results of the study illustrate that defense and aviation industry shows different structure than other sectors in innovation capacity and innovation activities. On the other hand, the paper provides the clues of the positive relationship between innovation activities and human capital in defense and aviation industry. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.