July 9, 2011 ByDavid Andreatta
Aviation services at the Greater Rochester International Airport pumped more than $800 million into the economy and supported nearly 10,000 jobs in 2009, according to a state Department of Transportation study released Friday.
The study, funded by the DOT and the Federal Aviation Administration, concluded that the state’s 90 public-use airports generated $50 billion in annual economic activity, which included spending, the creation of direct and related jobs, and tax revenue.
Most of the activity, about $42 billion, stemmed from John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports in New York City.
Researchers cited business clientele as critical to the Rochester airport’s economic activity, which was fifth highest among the state’s airports.
The study determined that every corporate jet generates up to $1 million in spending and creates five direct jobs. One commercial airline passenger generates $840 in spending, and 132 passengers generate enough economic activity to create one direct or indirect job.
About 1.27 million people flew commercial airlines out of Rochester in 2009, according to the FAA.
Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks called the findings “encouraging” and said they confirmed that the airport is a valuable asset to the community.
“It is vitally important that our airport provides connections to world-wide markets, allowing businesses to grow and thrive right here in our community,” Brooks said.
In releasing the study, DOT officials used the findings to justify public subsidies for aviation, saying economic benefits outweigh the investment.
“This study will help the state Department of Transportation properly plan our capital program in order to generate the greatest economic impact through our transportation infrastructure investments,” said DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald.
Source: DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE