Economic study shows impact of airports across the state

Dec. 12, 2012 @ 06:30 AM

FOREST CITY — Aviation is an important component in North Carolina’s economy. A recently completed economic impact study shows the state’s 72 publicly owned airports contribute nearly $26 billion to the state’s economy and supports more than 108,000 jobs. The contribution represents 6 percent of the state’s gross domestic product.

Rutherford County's airport, Marchman Field, located off US 64 on Oscar Justice Road, supports 20 jobs — directly and indirectly — according to the economic impact study.There is a total payroll income of $180,000, the study shows.

The state's 72 airports supported $25.9 billion in output, in the form of gross revenues, of NC businesses in 2010. The total output dollars from Rutherford County airport was $3,030,000.

According to the report, $104,000 in taxes was paid to the local and state governments through the airport.

"This is a snap shot of what impact our airports do have," said Bob Howard, airport authority chair for Rutherford County.

The airport pays more than $104,000 in property taxes to the county, state, corporate, personal and local property taxes and business sales tax.

The study includes the direct and indirect impact the state's public airports have on the county and state.

Direct impacts results from firms that are directly engaged in the movement of people or goods through an import. Direct impact dollars from Marchfield Field is $130,000 and indirect is $30,000. 

Indirect impacts represent the impacts of spending by airport related firms on products and services provided by support businesses, such as office supply companies, property maintenance.

Induced impacts result from payroll expenditures of employees of directly-and indirectly-related firms that produce successive spending, which is money that is re-circulated in an economy resulting in additional economic activity.

North Carolina airports supported $4 billion in labor income for state workers in 2010. Labor income is comprised of compensation for employees and self-employment income. “Aviation and aerospace continue to be an integral part of North Carolina’s economic engine,” said N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation Director Richard Walls. “As our state continues its investment in aviation, aerospace companies continue to invest in North Carolina, with new manufacturing plants and technology.”

According to the report:

• North Carolina airports support more than $4 billion in personal income for aviation-related jobs;

• State and local governments received more than $770 million in sales, property, corporate and personal taxes due to airport activity; and

• The local property tax related to airport activities is about $277 million.

The Division of Aviation commissioned the Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) at North Carolina State University to compile the 2012 Economic Contribution of Airports in North Carolina report on how aviation impacts the state’s economy. According to the report, the state’s 63 general aviation and nine commercial service airports provide a vital link to regional, national and international markets.