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The latest on airports as economic engines

July 28, 2015

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The Delta Air Lines lobby at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Photo by Benet J. Wilson

Earlier this year, we gave you a snapshot of how airports in Ohio contribute to their local economies. Now, we’ve got some broader numbers on how aviation fuels the U.S. economy.

A report from the Federal Aviation Administration says civil aviation-related economic activity generated $1.5 trillion and supported 11.8 million jobs with $459.4 billion in revenue.

Civil aviation accounted for 5.4 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, according to the report, called “The Economic Impact Of Civil Aviation On The U.S. Economy,” which was published in January.

The top five states in population and overall economic output (California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois) are also the top five states in terms of aviation-related economic output.

The report is a treasure trove of numbers that show the impact of the industry in 50 states and the District of Columbia, and includes an overview of recent economic events, state-level enabling impacts, and FAA spending impacts.

The first section of the report covers the economic performance of state economies, while the second examines state-level economic impacts of the civil aviation industry by the type of expenditure categories: airline operations, airport operations, general aviation, aircraft manufacturing, air couriers, visitor expenditures and travel arrangements.

For story ideas, check out where your state ranks in aviation-related revenue. Then, see if your state or local airport produces its own aviation report (we’ve included links to a number of them below).


The Economic Impact of Civil Aviation on the U.S. Economy

Ohio Airports Economic Impact Study

Economic Impact of Commercial Aviation in 2013


  • Benét J. Wilson

    Benét, known as the Aviation Queen, is a senior editor at TPG who is best known for being an aviation journalist for 25-plus years. Her love affair with travel and aviation began at age 6, when her Air Force family moved from California to a military...

    View all posts

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