Study: Alabama’s public airports generate almost $5B annually in economic activity
Governor Kay Ivey held a press conference on Monday announcing that the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) Aeronautics Bureau has released the summary findings of the 2020 Statewide Airport Economic Impact Study.
According to the study, Alabama’s system of 80 public airports are key economic engines for their local communities and major contributors to the state’s economy.
While the full study will be released on February 15, highlights are available courtesy of an ALDOT fact sheet.
“Our airports are a key asset for Alabama, providing critically important access for Alabamians, as well as our visitors. The 80 airports across our state also grow businesses, industries, and they create well-paying jobs,” Ivey said in a statement.
“Alabama airports generate over $4.9 billion in state economic activity each year, support 44,399 jobs and $1.9 billion in payroll,” she outlined. “Additionally, these airports generate almost $268 million in tax revenues to support local communities. We can be proud of our airport system in Alabama and the daily contributions they make to improve the quality of our lives and grow our economy.”
The study shows that flights to and from the Yellowhammer State’s public airports reach every state in the United States, as well as 23 countries. Together, commercial and general aviation flights bring over 1.7 million visitors annually to the state and serve as a vital link to the 21st-century global economy.
A release from Ivey’s office also noted that airports enhance the daily lives of people in Alabama by supporting first responders, creating well-paying jobs, assisting the military and providing recreational opportunities. These airports recently have provided an integral role in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to local communities.
“Aviation is a thriving industry in our state and an important part of our economic health,” Ivey concluded.
The state’s aviation industry rankings place Alabama third in general aviation percentage growth, eighth in airport operations percentage growth and 11th in air cargo tonnage percentage growth. The ALDOT study analyzed five economic activity categories for each airport, including economic activity generated by general aviation visitor spending, commercial aviation visitor spending, investment for capital improvements, airport business tenants and airport management.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn