Commercial, general aviation airports contribute $1.63B to West Virginia economy

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Commercial and general aviation airports contributed approximately $1.63 billion in revenue to the West Virginian economy and created more than 10,000 jobs, according to a study commissioned by the West Virginia Aeronautics Commission.

Additionally, visitors to the state’s airports spent more than $69 million annually.

The $400,000 West Virginia Aviation Economic Impact Study’s results were based on 2019 data. Planning and design engineering consultants Kimley-Horn studied quantitative data and qualitative data on communities’ needs and how much money goes into and out of the state’s airports.

“The purpose of the study is to take the first look in over 30 years at the economic impact of our airports,” Aeronautics Commission Director Sean Hill said. “The idea is to get a baseline to understand what the airports mean to our economy.”

Employment figures include employees who work directly for the airports, businesses who lease space from airports, and jobs directly associated with airports. It also includes 2,345 people working at North Central West Virginia Airport in Clarksburg for Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp., an aircraft maintenance company, and Aurora Flight Sciences, an aircraft component company.

Federal Aviation Administration funding paid for the study with a 10 percent match from the Aeronautics Commission.