June 19, 2013

A recent one-day conference, hosted by the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) and the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA), underscored the importance of aviation, including general aviation (GA), in helping grow the state’s economy.

“Maryland’s airports are tremendous economic engines for their communities, and they are poised for explosive growth in the future,” said Lawrence Twele, president/CEO of Howard County Economic Development Authority and MEDA’s president. “We will be examining the economic impact of the state’s airports, their workforce needs, and how to capitalize on their potential.”

While much of the discussion at “Aviation in Maryland: An Economic Engine, Jobs Generator and Business Development Opportunity” centered on Baltimore/ Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), the contributions of Maryland’s other airports, including those serving only general aviation was also highlighted.

The MAA’s 2013 Maryland Economic Impact of Airports report, in February 2013, found that for 2011/2012, when combined, state’s 35 general aviation airports, when coupled with Maryland’s airports serving scheduled airline service created:

  • The direct and indirect creation of 8,683 jobs, of which 4,598 were directly tied to aviation operations, while another 1,704 jobs were created to support “the purchase of goods and services” by direct employees. An additional 2,382 indirect jobs were created by aviation-related activities.
  • Direct, indirect and induced personal income and consumption expenditures totaling $442 million. in Business sales totaling $665 million.
  • Tax revenue totaling $44.2 million.

In addition, the report estimated that “business and pleasure visitor activity” at the state’s GA and scheduled commercial airports created another 2,409 on-site jobs and $83.9 million in wages, as well as $114.5 million in business revenue and $8.4 million in state and local taxes.

An event like this, and the study it explores, raise awareness of the industry’s importance to everyday citizens and the local business community, said Harry Houckes, NBAA Southeast regional representative. “It’s a great way to showcase all that aviation does for the local community to the media, local government officials and the business community.”

“I think the conference was a great way to showcase what general aviation means to the state of Maryland,” added Houckes. “The Maryland Aviation Association has done a fantastic job of maintaining the state’s public-use airports, which generate a significant positive economic impact for the Maryland economy.“