Commercial airports in the U.S. are critical infrastructure assets that are important components of the country’s transportation network. They enhance the movement of people, goods, and services throughout the country and around the world, allowing the economy to operate more effectively and efficiently.
This economic impact study summarizes the contribution that the 490 commercial airports in the U.S. make to the national economy. This analysis uses methodology approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to tabulate the economic contributions in terms of employment, annual payroll, and annual output for the 2010 calendar year.
Read the study (PDF), released in January, 2012
An economic impact study conducted by the Georgia Department of Transportation concludes that statewide, airports contribute almost $63 billion to Georgia's economy, including over 212,000 jobs. Briscoe Field contributes over $85 million to Gwinnett's economy, including 730 jobs.
The study looked at the economic benefits provided by on-airport businesses, including airlines, air traffic control and aircraft maintenance along with the benefit provided by capital improvement projects. It also looked at spending by airport visitors, and a multiplier effect created as additional businesses and jobs are created to support airport activities.
By Benita M. Dodd
For years, Georgia has been trying to site an airport to supplement Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the busiest passenger airport in the world. Suggestions have been all over the map, from Dawsonville to Macon to Chattanooga. Now a plan to make a Gwinnett County airport a regional relief valve – by privatizing it – finally holds promise.
The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners announced on October 19, 2010, that it would postpone a decision whether to request proposals for privatizing Briscoe Field until early 2011. Should the Board decide to move forward with the process, county staff will continue evaluating responses to a Request for Qualifications (RFQ). Under the revised timeline, the evaluation of proposals would take place during the first quarter of 2011 while certain other activities such as drafting a preliminary contract and forming a partnership committee, which originally would have happened concurrently with the RFQ/RFP process, would continue throughout 2011.
Many economic studies over decades have shown that airports generate revenue for the community. The question in Gwinnett is-- how much? The following lists studies of several airports comparable to Briscoe:
Sacramento International Airport
- $2.1 Billion: Economic impact to the regional economy
- $237 Million: Additional income to area restaurants, stores, hotels and transportation businesses
- 17,233 Area residents employed because of the airport
- $100 Million: Additional tax revenue collected
- Based on 2002 data
- 4.4 million passengers in 2009
In his influential recent book, The World Is Flat, Thomas Friedman makes it clear that an increasingly fast-paced, globally networked economy is changing the rules of business location. These rules are being altered by a catalytic convergence of digitalization, globalization, aviation, and time-based competition. Speed, agility, and connectivity have become the mantra of many of the world’s most successful firms.
Metro Atlanta is expected to add 3 million people and 1.5 million jobs by 2040, according to a projection released Wednesday by the Atlanta Regional Commission.
If that happens, growth across the 20-county metropolitan region -- from Hall County in the north to Spalding County in the south -- would match the population and employment explosion of the last three decades, an era that placed Atlanta among the nation's biggest metro areas.