SW Florida Airport has $8.4b annual impact, a new study shows.
Southwest Florida International Airport, at Fort Myers, had a total economic impact of $8,405,324,000. That is according to the 2019 Statewide Aviation Economic Study Impact.
The airport also created 83,290 jobs, says the study published by Florida Department of Transportation.
In addition, Page Field at Fort Myers has an annual economic impact of more than $385 million. It also helped create 3,328 jobs.
The economic impacts of airports consist of four primary categories—On-Airport Activity, Visitor Spending, Industry Reliance, and Military Spending. Together in 2017, these accounted for nearly $175 billion in economic impact for Florida’s aviation industry.
Florida’s 129 public-use airports ‘vital to daily life and trade’
Florida’s 129 public-use airports are vital to daily life and trade, says the report. “Whether for delivery services, news reporting, personal vacations, or business travel, Floridians rely on the aviation industry to stay connected with each other and economic markets.
“Florida’s extensive aviation system includes 20 public-use commercial service airports, 109 public-use general aviation airports, and hundreds of private airports.
“These airports support Florida’s diverse economy, including tourism, agriculture, aviation and aerospace, and manufacturing, and they are a critical component of essential services such as medical transportation, law enforcement, search and rescue, and disaster response and recovery.”
As the link that connects people and businesses, Florida’s airports help ensure sustained economic growth.
“The state’s airports support economic activity by providing access to destinations within the state, throughout the country, and across the globe. Airports also offer significant economic contributions to our communities by supporting jobs, generating income, and triggering spending at the local, regional, and state level.”
The aviation system is a key supporter of tourism, one of Florida’s main industries. According to Visit Florida, over 110 million out-of-state visitors came to Florida in 2017. More than half arrived by air transportation.
Of the over 5,000 visitors surveyed as part of the economic impact study, 77% came to Florida for pleasure and 16% came for business. The remainder came for other reasons.
To quantify the contribution of Florida’s aviation system to the economy, the study various primary and secondary data sources. It also uses economic modeling techniques. The primary data source was a series of six surveys for airport administration, tenants, visitors, and aviation-reliant businesses to gather key information related to economic metrics. Data were input into Impact Analysis for Planning (IMPLAN), an economic modeling software used to generate the multiplier effect.