New online calculator shows public airports' economic impacts

new online tool will help decision makers at the state’s airports make more strategic investment choices to support local communities and the state’s economy.

The Aviation Economic Impact Calculator allows decision makers to estimate how changes in activity at an airport (such as new flight activity, businesses or capital projects) may affect an airport’s economic vitality.

“When it comes to making good airport investment decisions, the more information the better,” said Tristan Atkins, aviation director for the Washington State Department of Transportation, in a press release. “This tool provides decision makers with high level estimates to help guide future investment choices at our state’s airports.”

The calculator displays the current activity and economic impact of each of the state’s 136 public-use airports.  It then allows the user to enter various scenarios, such as adding or subtracting businesses, services, flight activity and capital projects. Based on the scenarios that the user enters, the calculator creates estimates for how the changes may affect the airport. It produces printable results in terms of jobs, wages, visitor spending and economic outputs.

WSDOT developed the Aviation Economic Impact Calculator as part of the 2012 Aviation Economic Impact Study, which revealed statewide commercial and general aviation contribute significantly to the state’s economy, adding approximately 248,500 jobs, $15.3 billion in wages and $50.9 billion in economic activity.

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