New study shows Minnesota’s public airports generate $18.2 billion in annual economic activity


Minnesota’s public airport system generates $18.2 billion in annual economic activity statewide, according to a new study the Minnesota Department of Transportation released today that details the economic impact of the state’s 133 public airports.

The Minnesota Statewide Airport Economic Impact Study documents the broad economic impacts of the statewide system, and provides detailed reports on the local economic activity generated by 126 of those airports. The last statewide airport economic impact study was published in 2011.

“This study shows that Minnesota general aviation and commercial aviation provide outsized value to the communities they serve,” said Cassandra Isackson, MnDOT Office of Aeronautics director. “Every airport serves its community in a unique way, from supporting local commerce and jobs to supplying essential emergency and medical services. We encourage everyone to check out their community’s individual airport report on the study’s website.”

Additional study findings include:

·       The 126 public airports in Greater Minnesota support more than 13,000 jobs and more than $570 million in annual payroll.

·       The seven Metropolitan Airport Commission airports, including Minneapolis-St. Paul International, support more than 80,000 jobs and more than $3.9 billion in annual payroll.

·       Public airports create economic efficiencies that help many Greater Minnesota businesses compete nationally and globally, and create local jobs that support local economies.

·       Public airports support medical services essential to Greater Minnesota hospitals, including medical airlift, quick access for doctors and fast organ delivery.

·       Public airports provide infrastructure needed to deliver fast, efficient aerial firefighting and other emergency services throughout the state.

·       Public airports are essential to many aerial spray applicators, commonly known as “crop dusters,” that serve Minnesota’s agriculture economy.

MnDOT commissioned the Minnesota Statewide Airport Economic Impact Study to measure the annual economic impact provided by 126 public airports, most of them located in Greater Minnesota. The study also includes data the Metropolitan Airports Commission provided for seven public airports in the seven-county Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, including Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport. The study was completed in partnership with, and funded with grants through, the Federal Aviation Administration.

Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan have also proposed $19.2 million in the Local Jobs and Projects Plan this legislative session for airport projects in Brainerd, International Falls and Rochester. These investments would make key improvements at those airports and enhance the economic impact in the communities they serve.