N.C. airports contribute $26 billion to state’s economy


North Carolina’s 72 publicly owned airports contribute nearly $26 billion to the state’s economy, representing about 6 percent of all economic activity in the state, according to a report commissioned by the Division of Aviation, part of the N.C. Dept. of Transportation. North Carolina has nine commercial airports and 63 general aviation airports. Charlotte Douglas International Airport had almost $12.5 billion in economic impact, followed by Raleigh-Durham International with about $7.8 billion and Piedmont Triad International with nearly $1.9 billion. The report shows the Asheville Regional Airport had an economic impact of nearly $474 million; Wilmington International was just over $466 million; Fayetteville Regional/Grannis Field was almost $319 million; Jacksonville’s Albert J. Ellis Airport was nearly $192 million; New Bern’s Coastal Carolina Regional was almost $167.2 million; and Pitt-Greenville was nearly $97.3 million.

The study also reported jobs and payroll information along with state and local taxes. For instance, of the top three commercial airports, CLT, the report estimates, has $4.7 billion in direct impact, $3.4 billion in indirect impact (products and services provided by support businesses, such as office supply companies, property maintenance, etc.) and $4.4 billion in induced impact (from payroll expenditures of employees of directly- and indirectly-related firms); direct jobs at CLT are estimated to be nearly 18,000. At RDU, the direct impact is $1.44 billion, almost $2.7 billion indirect and $3.56 billion in induced, with almost 7,400 directly employed. At GSO, it’s nearly $528 million in direct, just over $557 million in indirect and almost $805 million in induced impact, with more than 2,400 direct jobs.

The report notes the importance of visitors to North Carolina who fly into the state in terms of economic impact. Forty percent of aircraft were expected to include overnight visitors with an average of 2.8 passengers staying two nights with average spending of $98 per day.

You may download the full report here:  https://apps.ncdot.gov/newsreleases/Image.ashx?id=2038