Economic Development Newsroom

Airport Releases Economic Impacts

Wednesday October 21, 2009

Louisville Regional Airport Authority Chairman J.D. Nichols, Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson and Greater Louisville, Inc. President and CEO Joe Reagan today released the results of a comprehensive economic impact survey of Louisville’s airports.

The results of the 2009 survey of 2008 data confirm that Louisville International Airport (SDF) and Bowman Field (LOU) comprise the largest employment center among private operations in the region—and are the primary economic engines powering our local and state economy.

“There is no doubt that our decision to expand the airport has been the top reason that our city has grown and continues to expand — and this report proves that,” Abramson said.

Chairman Nichols noted, “We conducted this survey to monitor aviation-industry growth so that we can plan for the infrastructure necessary to retain and attract aviation-related companies and to provide an overview of the benefits of the airport expansion to those who, over the years, have invested so much.”

According to the survey’s results, Louisville’s airports helped generate 55,608 jobs. The airports also helped generate nearly $2 billion in payroll; over $5.6 billion in economic activity; and more than $277 million in state and local tax revenues.

In 2008, Louisville International Airport handled more than 3.6 million passengers; 158,356 landings and take-offs; and 4.3 billion pounds of cargo, making it the 3rd largest cargo airport in North America and 9th in the world. The volume of goods shipped through Louisville International Airport more than quadrupled from 1986 to 2008.

Bowman Field, an essential reliever airport for Louisville International Airport and a key component of the community’s airport system, handled more than 82,000 landings and take-offs in 2008.

The results of the survey may be viewed on the airport’s Web site at


Louisville International Airport (SDF) Bowman Field (LOU)