Thursday, May 29, 2014

Study estimates airports contribute $1.4 billion to Wyomings economy

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - A study completed for the Wyoming Department of Transportation's Aeronautics Division found that 35 of the state's public-use airports generate a combined $1.4 billion in economic activity in the state annually.

That figure was derived using the Federal Aviation Administration's approved methodology for estimating an airport's economic impacts, which considers jobs created or supported by the airports directly and by the travelers and businesses that use the airports, and the successive waves of additional economic activity they generate.

The study estimates 12,268 jobs in the state are related to airport management, airport tenants, visitor spending and capital investment in the airports. The annual payroll associated with those jobs is $526.4 million.

When all annual spending related to airports, airport tenants, capital investment and air visitors is considered, the study estimates Wyoming airports support $1.4 billion in total annual economic activity or output.

The study found visitors who arrive in Wyoming on commercial airline flights spend $547.2 million in the state annually, and that spending supports 8,438 jobs with an annual payroll of $318 million.

The airports themselves account for 283 jobs in administration, operation and maintenance, with an annual payroll of $13.7 million.

The study completed by consultants ICF-SH&E, Kramer Aerotek and Jviation estimates the airports and the activities they support also generate $55 million in state and local tax revenues each year.

"The study is something the Wyoming Aeronautics Commission has asked us to do periodically to help quantify the value of aviation to Wyoming," Aeronautics Administrator Dennis Byrne said. "The information helps us understand the need for airport and air service development in the state."

The research documented how Wyoming airports support businesses, tourism, agriculture, hospitals and doctors, emergency services, state and federal agencies and colleges. The project concluded that there are approximately 38,100 additional jobs in Wyoming that rely on or benefit from aviation on a regular basis.

Contributing to the study results were surveys of 4,000 travelers using Wyoming airports, direct mailings to 400 businesses, and input from 50 chambers of commerce and economic development groups and 30 government agencies and statewide organizations.

- Provided by the Wyoming Department of Transportation  


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