Iowa DOT News

Aviation’s economic impact exceeds $5.4 billion in Iowa

AMES, Iowa – Aug. 10, 2009 – A new report, released today by the Iowa Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Office of Aviation, documents how aviation is used in Iowa and concludes that air transportation is a key contributor to the state’s economy. 

The report, titled Uses and Benefits of Aviation in Iowa, is part of a study that analyzed: the economic impacts of on-airport operations; visitor spending; specialized services, such as helicopter emergency medical services and aerial spraying; and aviation-related manufacturing.

The annual economic impact of the air transportation industry in Iowa is estimated to exceed $5.4 billion, while supporting more than 47,000 jobs across the state.  This includes $1.5 billion in output from on-airport activities and visitor spending, as well as $3.9 billion in output from off-airport aviation-related manufacturing.

Aviation activities identified in the report include commercial airline and military operations, as well as a broad range of general aviation activity including the following:

· Business aviation

· Air cargo

· Aerial spraying

· Medical transport

· Flight training

· Search and rescue

· Aerial survey

· Flight support

· Personal aviation

The report concluded that when all benefits of on-airport activity, visitor spending and support for the agricultural industry are considered, the annual economic benefit from general aviation airports alone is estimated to exceed $400 million annually.

The study also examined multiple benefits the Iowa business community receives from the use of aviation services. The report estimates Iowa’s agricultural productivity is increased by $214 million as a result of aerial spraying. Additionally, the Iowa business community gains productivity through the use of aviation. 

According to Michelle McEnany, director of the Iowa DOT’s Office of Aviation, the study estimated that overall business activity in Iowa is increased by $12.8 billion as a result of the use of aviation-related services. “Everyone benefits from aviation because the industry is so integrated into every facet of the economy.  From the availability of rapid medical transport to Internet purchasing and package delivery to emergency relief and recovery efforts like we witnessed in 2008, aviation plays an important role in making Iowa a better place to live.” 

Information in the report is expected to assist aviation stakeholders, including local, state and federal officials, in making informed decisions related to operations and investments in Iowa’s air transportation system.  Information will also be used in educating the public on the uses and benefits of aviation in Iowa.

The entire report and an executive summary are available on the Iowa DOT Office of Aviation’s Web site


For more information contact Tim McClung at 515-239-1689 or [email protected]


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