The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) Multimodal Operations Division’s Aviation Section identified that the Branson Airport created 1,460 jobs in the Branson Area with a total payroll of $35,044,000 and a total economic impact of $91,137,000 in 2012. MoDOT initiated a Statewide Airport Economic Impact Study to determine the benefits of all Missouri’s airports. This study observed, analyzed, and reported the economic activity and impact of the state’s airport system for the 2012 calendar year following FAA guidelines and is considered an update to a similar study conducted by the MoDOT Aviation Section in 2002.
“As one of the newest airports in Missouri, Branson Airport has quickly grown to provide a major economic impact to Branson and the surrounding area” said Bryan Gregory, Aviation Operations Manager with MoDOT. The study notes the airport opened in 2009, offering both commercial airline passenger service and luxury amenities to general aviation users. Southwest Airlines and Frontier Airlines provide daily commercial passenger service to destinations across the county including nonstop flights to Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston and Orlando.
The types of economic impacts were quantified in the analysis to arrive at the total included:
Direct Impacts are defined as the benefits associated with businesses and activities located at or occurring on the airport.
Indirect Impacts are defined as the benefits associated with visitor spending for business and recreational activities in the local area and broader economy as a result of airport use.
Induced Impacts are defined as the benefits that result from the recirculation or re-spending of direct and indirect spending or payroll in the broader economy.
The airport provides business travelers with convenient access to various industries and companies in the Branson area. Tourists arriving by air are able to enjoy the popular Branson entertainment, restaurants, shopping, and outdoor attractions all contributing to the economic benefit. Outdoor sportsmen often use the airport to access popular fishing destinations, numerous golf courses, and resorts in the area. The airport also supports military and civil air patrol training and exercises throughout the year. The airport further enhances the quality of life in the area by facilitating emergency medical and doctor transports, environmental patrols conducted by the Missouri Department of Conservation, and law enforcement and prisoner transport operations. The airport serves as a staging area for community events and meetings, hosting and sponsoring numerous events every year in conjunction with the Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau and other nonprofit organizations. The airport actively sponsors and participates in more than 40 youth outreach and additional charity events, such as various fundraisers for local schools, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, ROTARY, American Red Cross, Boy Scouts, Shepherd of the Hills Humane Society, Gift of Hope and much more.
In addition to commercial airline service provided by the airlines, the airport is home to several robust businesses. Famous Dave’s, a popular restaurant chain, is located on airport along with Enterprise, Alamo and National providing on-site rental car services. Branson Grayline and Yellow Cab offer bus and cab services to airport users. Branson JetCenter offers general aviation users FBO services such as fuel, hangar and tie-down rentals, charter services, de-icing services, as well as luxury passenger and flight crew amenities, including a putting green and driving range. Travel service provider FlyBranson Travel is located at the airport and provides all necessary travel arrangements and packages for visitors to the area. In addition, FAA and TSA also are located at the airport.