Airport contributes $3.7 billion to area economy

When multipliers are added in, the Colorado Springs Municipal Airport injects $3.7 billion into the annual economy of Colorado Springs, according to an economic impact study released by the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics.

Some 27,721 people work in the operation and development of the city’s airport. The number also includes people working at businesses that provide services to the airport and off-airport companies such as cargo companies.

Aviation-supported jobs have a collective payroll of $1.76 billion, according to the report.

The multiplier used to estimate the impacts led to $3.7 billion in total output for the Colorado Springs Airport.

Output is defined as “total annual economic activity which is comparable to the spending required to purchase goods and services to support operations for all activities considered in the study.”

The Meadow Lake Airport in Peyton lists employment at 130, with a payroll of $4.94 million and a total output of $10.14 million.

The study showed the state’s commercial and general aviation airports are a major economic generator for the state.

According to the study, which was conducted by Colorado aviation consulting firms ICF SH&E, Jviation, and Kramer Aerotek, Inc., Colorado airports create the following economic impacts: 265,700 jobs statewide; payroll of $12.6 billion annually; and total economic output of $36.7 billion.

Those numbers put Colorado’s airports among the state’s top economic generators along with the agriculture, tourism, energy, high tech and communications sectors.

“Regardless of size, these airports are all important to their communities. When the numbers are combined, the impacts are significant,” said CDOT Aeronautics Division Director David Gordon.

The 2013 study examined all phases of airport spending and economic multipliers to calculate economic impact, including airport administration and employment, airport tenants, airport capital investment, visitor spending, air cargo, tax revenues and directly-related off-airport employment.

A significant amount of the economic activity is generated by Colorado’s 14 commercial airline service airports. The largest is Denver International Airport, which has a payroll of more than $8.5 billion annually, generating a total economic output of more than $26 billion each year. Colorado Springs Municipal Airport has a total payroll of $1.75 billion and a total economic output of nearly $3.7 billion annually.

The study also shows the economic impact of the state’s general aviation airports, which range in size from Centennial and Rocky Mountain Metropolitan airports, both located in the Denver area, to individual community airports in all parts of the state. Total economic output at these airports ranges from $1.3 billion at Centennial Airport to several thousand dollars at smaller rural airports.

To view the entire economic study , visit www.colorado-aeronautics.org and click on the 2013 Economic Impact Study link.