Airports play a critical role in the economy. They serve as the base of operation for a diverse group of businesses, including airlines, air cargo companies, fixed base operators, flight schools, government entities, restaurants, and others. Additionally, the vast hospitality industry is supported by both commercial service and general aviation. Visitors that travel by air each year support a variety of tourist and convention-related business activities, such as lodging, dining, retail, and entertainment. Airport and tenant employees support the local economy both directly and indirectly.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation Aviation Fact Sheet, the State of Illinois aviation industry contributes nearly $51 billion annually to the economy. Furthermore, the aviation industry in Illinois is responsible for over 366,000 jobs and aviation accounts for more than 4.2 percent of Illinois’s GDP and nearly 5 percent of the state’s jobs.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) last studied the economic impact of airports in the state of Illinois in 2012. The results of this study indicated that MidAmerica St. Louis Airport / Scott AFB contributed $2.5 billion to the economy. The full results of this study are available here.