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Aerial view of the Hector International Airport in Fargo, North Dakota. (Image: Zach Koppang / Energy Media Group)
Aerial view of the Hector International Airport in Fargo, North Dakota. (Image: Zach Koppang / Energy Media Group)

North Dakota airports add $1.5 billion to state’s economy

Bismarck, N.D. – The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission recently completed a research project to estimate the annual economic impacts that all facets of aviation have on North Dakota’s economy.

The Commission’s research concludes that the annual economic impact from the State’s 89 Public-Use Airports has increased 47 Percent Since 2010. This project was funded in part by a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. North Dakota’s public-use airport system consists of eight commercial service airports and 81 general aviation airports.

The study measured jobs, annual payroll, and annual output. Output represents the purchase of goods and services within North Dakota. These economic impacts were measured for activities associated with airport management, on-airport aviation related businesses, capital investment, and spending by visitors to North Dakota who utilize the public-use airports.

“Since the economic benefits of the public-use airports were last measured in 2010, these benefits have grown significantly,” said Kyle Wanner, Executive Director of the Aeronautics Commission. “The total number of jobs that the airports support has risen from 8,872 to 12,217; annual payroll for these jobs has grown from $366 million to over $505 million; and estimated annual output has increased from $1.06 billion to almost $1.6 billion.

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The numbers from this study clearly show that our public airports have proven that they are valuable assets and act as important economic engines for our communities.” The Commission’s research also considered the economic impacts from other facets of aviation in North Dakota.

This included the annual economic impacts associated with Air Force Bases in Minot and Grand Forks; North Dakota businesses that are engaged in producing aviation and aerospace products; and benefits that employers throughout the state gain from using commercial airline, general aviation, or air cargo services.

These other aviation and aerospace related activities provide an additional $2.1 billion in annual economic output and support approximately 20,000 additional jobs that have an annual payroll estimated at $931 million. When the almost $1.6 billion in annual output from the public-use airports is combined with the output from other aviation and aerospace related activities, all airport, aviation, and aerospace related activities have a total estimated annual economic output of $3.66 billion.

This output represents approximately eight percent of North Dakota’s Real Gross State Product. Airports and aviation are major drivers and contributors to North Dakota’s economy. The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission is responsible for overseeing the state’s public-use airport system. Funding from the Commission helps to insure that North Dakota communities are served by a diversified and well developed airport system.

Information from the Commission’s research project helps to determine economic return from their investment. More information on the study is available from the Aeronautics Commission website at www.aero.nd.gov

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