Journal Review
Airport Shows High Value
November 15, 2012
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  • The Crawfordsville Municipal Airport ranked high in a newly-released study of economic impact of airports in Indiana.

    The study shows the Crawfordsville Municipal Airport contributes $80 million dollars of economic benefit to the Crawfordsville community each year. This figure scores high versus the 32 comparable airports in Indiana, giving the Crawfordsville airport the seventh highest economic impact among local airports.

    Along with this dollar value, the study shows the Crawfordsville airport also creates and sustains 255 local jobs that generate a total payroll of $13 million.

    “Our airport is a valuable asset for Crawfordsville,” said Myra Dunn Abbott, treasurer of the local Board of Airport Commissioners. “It’s an important gateway to our community, the first thing many important visitors see when they come here. And as you can see from the recent study, it generates millions of dollars in local benefit.”

    The study was a collaboration by three groups concerned with Indiana’s economic development: the Indiana Department of Transportation, the Aviation Association of Indiana and Conexus Indiana. They collected data from all airports in Indiana which, when combined, show a total annual economic impact of $14.1 billion for all Hoosier airports. These airports support 69,149 jobs with a combined Indiana payroll of $4.1 billion.

    The study included the value of on-airport businesses, plus the value to airport users including local and national businesses, along with the multiplier effect of all this money coming into the local economy. It used methodology employed by several states around the country and recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration.

    “Our airport’s value comes from making travel easier, more efficient and more economical,” Dunn Abbott said. “People who fly into Crawfordsville can bypass the hassles of airline travel. They can avoid airline delays and connecting flights and come directly here, landing conveniently close to our city.”

    Abbott also points out that the Crawfordsville airport attracts new businesses and encourages existing businesses to expand.

    “It gives Crawfordsville an advantage over other cities that don’t have a modern, attractive airport,” she said.

    “The numbers once again tell the story about the positive impact of Indiana’s aviation industry,” said Kevin Brinegar, president and CEO of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. “That impact extends well beyond the commercial airports in the larger cities to the many general aviation facilities that provide timely service to local businesses and individuals throughout the state.”

    The study was modeled after FAA-endorsed study methodologies to determine the economic impact of both on-airport and off-airport property businesses to the state’s economy. This includes the economic impact of businesses located on airport property, such as airlines and air traffic control, and airport users, including businesses that use airport services to support business functions.

    The overall economic impact of airports to the state, however, includes more than direct contributions from on-airport and off-airport businesses. When businesses themselves or their employees spend money in the local community to purchase food, pay for childcare or entertainment, those dollars are also accounted for in the overall economic impact. The economic impact outlined in the 2012 report takes into consideration all direct, in-direct and residual economic impacts.

    “These study results paint a clear picture of the value of Indiana’s airports not only to residents who rely on air travel for business and pleasure, but to the thousands of businesses that rely on airport services to move people and products,” said Bart Giesler, executive director of the Aviation Association of Indiana. “This backs our continued assertion that aviation investment by the state creates jobs in the private sector. Airports connect Hoosier businesses to their customers and this connection means jobs.”