December 14, 2012

A new report says that aviation is a $26 billion contributor to North Carolina’s recovery from the worst national economic downturn since the 1930s.

The report titled, “2012 Economic Contribution of Airports in North Carolina,” shows that the economic benefit of aviation in the state has more than doubled since the last such study, conducted in 2006, which reported $11.81 billion in economic benefits to the state. The number of jobs attributed to activity at the state’s public-owned airports also increased, from 88,420 to 108,000.

“Contributions from activity at North Carolina’s public-owned airports add up to a full 6 percent of the state’s gross domestic product,” said NBAA Regional Representative Harry Houckes. “We’re proud that business aviation is a big contributor to this recovery.”

The study, which was conducted by North Carolina State University’s Institute for Transportation Research and Education, showed the multi-billion annual benefits included:

  • More than $4 billion in personal income from aviation-related jobs;
  • More than $770 million in state and local sales, property, corporate and personal taxes; and
  • About $277 million in local property taxes related to airport activities.

The study also reported that local governments collect an estimated $8 million in property taxes from owners of aircraft based in North Carolina.

The state has nine commercial service airports and 63 general aviation (GA) airports available for businesses needing to reach customers in the state.

State officials say aviation will be a big part of North Carolina’s future. “As our state continues its investment in aviation and aerospace, there will be more and more companies wanting to locate in North Carolina with new manufacturing plants and technologies,” said Richard Walls, director of the state’s Department of Transportation, Division of Aviation. “Aviation is an important component in the state’s economy.”

Review a copy of the report. (785 KB PDF)