Report assesses Tennessee aviation economic impact

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Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) officials said recently released study findings determined the state’s aviation system contributed $40 billion in total economic activity to Tennessee’s economy in 2019.

The Statewide Aviation System Plan and Aviation Economic Impact Study of Tennessee’s public-use airport system stemmed from TDOT’s contract with Kimley Horn to provide the report. The effort focused on the economic benefit received during the 2019 calendar year.

Per the report, the state’s aviation industry contribution represented associated tax revenues of $1.1 billion while supporting 220,936 jobs.

The report’s Executive Summary outlines how direct impacts encompass how airports, their activities, and their visitors contribute directly to the state’s economy; visitor spending impacts – which officials indicated do not include travel and spending conducted by citizens of Tennessee; multiplier impacts were applied in the study after direct impacts were calculated and validated – with the report showing multiplier impacts consisted of supplier sales and worker income re-spending; and freight/cargo impacts addressed the extent to which off-airport businesses in the state rely on the freight/cargo services provided by Tennessee’s airports.

The state’s 78 public-use airports are vital components of the nation’s and Tennessee’s transportation networks. The linkage and efforts to provide access to regional, national and global transportation systems.