JEFFERSON CITY – A recent study by the Missouri Department of Transportation revealed that 108 of the airports it helps support contribute 100,621 jobs with a payroll of $ 3.1 billion to the Missouri economy. When all economic activities are considered, total annual economic output of Missouri’s system of airports is estimated at $11.1 billion. This represents 4.3 percent of the gross state product.
Using Federal Aviation Administration guidelines, the Missouri Statewide Airports Economic Impact Study looked at direct and indirect impacts nine commercial and 99 public-use airports make to Missouri’s economy. It indicated that the economic contribution of Missouri airports grew 17.1 percent in the past decade – despite the economic recession which began in 2007. Though airports support many types of unique users, growth was fueled largely by an increase in business activity.
“In addition to airports’ status as a substantial job and payroll contributor, we found communities large and small rely on Missouri airports to spur economic growth and increase access to regional and worldwide markets.” said MoDOT Director, Dave Nichols. “This is just the kind of activity Missourians who have been participating in the development of our Long Range Transportation Plan told us they want to see increase during the next 20 years.”
Missouri’s commercial airports provide access to destinations worldwide and bring in millions of visitors. In 2012, an estimated 6.2 million travelers arrived in Missouri via commercial airports and more than 260,000 arrived on general aviation aircraft. While here, they spent money on hotels, shopping, entertainment and other activities. These purchases, as well as direct impacts such as airport concessions, air cargo and flight school activities have a spin-off effect, boosting the local economy.
“It’s also important to note that Missouri aircraft are used to rescue, to transport patients and medical personnel, to treat crops and monitor forests, among other activities,” said Bryan Gregory, MoDOT aviation operations manager. “Aviation contributes to our quality of life.”
Airport study details can be found at MoDOT’s website, www.modot.org/othertransportation/aviation/aviationgeneralinformation.htm . Missourians are also invited to review and comment upon the state’s draft Long Range Transportation Plan at www.missourionthemove.org to ensure it includes elements that will result in a strong, vibrant transportation system that gives a long-term boost to Missouri’s economy and quality of life.