Update of a Web-Based Economic Impact Calculator for Small and Medium-Sized Airports and a Study of the Economic Impact of Minnesota Airports


William Gartner, Brigid Tuck, Daniel Erkkila

January 2011

Report no. CTS 11-01


Aviation, Economics

This report details the process of updating the Web-based airport economic impact calculator and the calculation of the statewide economic impact of Minnesota's public airports. The end products of these efforts are: 1) an economic impact calculator that more adequately reflects current economic conditions with added flexibility to handle large, unique airport operations 2) and an estimate of the total economic impact of Minnesota's airports in 2009.

The airport economic impact calculator prompts users to enter data on nine main types of economic activity to calculate the impact of their local airport. These include: public airport operations and capital investments, fixed based operators (FBOs), commercial scheduled air service, retail businesses, general aviation, freight operators, private corporations with flight departments, non-profit and government entities and other activities. The newly updated economic impact calculator allows for greater variability in the size and scale of these airport operations and contains new economic impact coefficients that reflect changes in the economy since the calculator was first developed.

These nine activities also contribute to the economy of Minnesota. To calculate the economic impact of the airport system in Minnesota, primary data were collected from airport mangers, FBO's, corporate flight departments and governmental units. Secondary data were obtained from Minneapolis-St. Paul International, Rochester International, and Duluth International airports to provide a comprehensive economic impact analysis for the state.

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