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Metro Newsroom

Airport Releases Economic Impacts

Thursday February 1, 2007

Airports generate 43,000 jobs and over $246 million in annually recurring state and local taxes

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson and Louisville Regional Airport Authority Board Vice-Chairman Phil Lynch released the results today of the most recent comprehensive economic impact survey of Louisville’s airports, conducted by the University of Louisville.

“The survey shows that in 2005, alone, Louisville’s airports and its business partners generated over $246 million in total state and local taxes,” noted Airport Board Vice-Chairman Phil Lynch. “The $246 million recurs annually. In addition, Louisville’s airports generated over $8 million in one-time total local and state taxes in 2005 from airport construction, for a total of over $254 million in total taxes generated in 2005. This is further magnified by the fact that in 2005, the airports generated:

  • 43.6 thousand total jobs,
  • $1.8 billion in total payroll, and
  • $4.5 billion in total business expenditures.”

“This community’s long-term investment in expanding the airport has led to Louisville International becoming an economic engine that drives thousands of jobs and millions in investment,” Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson announced. “This most recent study illustrates that the airport is a catalyst for ongoing economic benefits, such as the latest UPS expansion or the dozens of companies that move here or expand here because they want to be near our airport and our logistics network.”

The survey figures were announced at a news conference today at the Chautauqua Airlines maintenance hangar. Chautauqua chose the expanded Louisville International Airport for the site of its maintenance hub that opened last year and employs 258 people.

“This demonstrates, once again, that airport expansion continues to exceed its projected benefits to the community and has since 1992,” said Airport Board Chairman J. D. Nichols. “Clearly, the airport expansion has ‘paid for itself’ many times over since the completion of the parallel runways.”

In 2005 alone, the one-time construction impacts at Louisville’s airports generated:

2,600 total jobs;

$96.9 million in total payroll;

$276.8 million in total business expenditures; and

$8.3 million in total state and local taxes

in what was a ‘routine’ year for airport construction.

C. T. “Skip” Miller, Executive Director of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority, remarked that, “Louisville International Airport’s importance to the community is essential in attracting and retaining business, conventions, meetings, and tourism, as well as in providing access to the global marketplace and destinations.”

The economic impact survey includes direct, indirect, and induced economic impacts. Conducted in 2006 by the University of Louisville College of Urban and Economic Research, the results are drawn from financial data provided by the Airport Authority and airport business partners from 2005 data. The base-line survey was conducted in 1986 and has been updated triennially, providing a benchmark from which the University measures the impact of airport expansions.

View the survey: