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Illinois DOT Study Shows Value Of Airports

One Hundred Sixteen Facilities Bring Over $40 Billion In Economic Impact

Airports in Illinois add over $40 billion to the state's economy, according to a study released recently by the Illinois Department of Transportation. When all of the impacts of Illinois’ 116 public-use airports are added together, 337,419 total jobs can be traced to the aviation industry. These employees receive $12.8 billion in total payroll and generate $40.9 billion in total economic activity, according to the report's executive summary.

The economic benefits associated with aviation in Illinois were estimated using a standard econometric modeling process that has been approved by the FAA. This economic input-output model estimates economic benefits in terms of jobs, payroll and economic output. This methodology has been used to successfully quantify the value of airports and airport systems throughout the United States.

The study also found that in addition to substantial annual economic benefits, Illinois’ airports support numerous qualitative benefits. Qualitative benefits are related to health, welfare, and safety and cannot be easily assigned dollar values. Airport-related qualitative benefits help to improve the overall quality of life in Illinois. Examples of qualitative benefits at Illinois’ airports include: 

  • Facilitating emergency medical transport
  • Providing support to law enforcement
  • Supporting aerial surveying, photography, and inspection operations
  • Conducting search-and-rescue operations
  • Supporting the U.S. military and other government organizations
  • Providing youth outreach activities

Commercial airlines in Illinois served 84 million total passengers in 2010 while general aviation aircraft conducted an estimated 2.4 million operations. Those airlines also moved approximately 2 million tons of air cargo through Illinois’ airports, delivering valued goods and products to and from the marketplace.

FMI: www.illinoisairportsmeanbusiness.com

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