Iowa DOT News

Iowa DOT report shows aviation provides essential services and is a key driver of the state's economy

AMES, Iowa – Nov. 8, 2022 –  The aviation industry in Iowa is so much more than getting vacationers to a sunny beach, families to reunions for the holidays, or business travelers to important meetings. You may not realize all the ways that those airplanes you see in the sky positively impact your daily life and Iowa’s overall economy.

A new report from the Iowa Department of Transportation highlights aviation’s uses in Iowa and quantifies its role in Iowa’s economy. The report shows that aviation generates $6.4 billion in economic impact every year. This includes $1.8 billion related to airport activity and $4.6 billion to businesses that produce aircraft components and other aviation-related services.

In the report, you’ll see how commercial air service, air cargo, general aviation, and other special aviation services are essential to Iowa and support business activity. Also included are the significant economic impacts of military aviation units at airports around Iowa, and future impacts from emerging segments including Uncrewed Aircraft Systems commonly referred to as drones.

“The aviation and aerospace industries provide important services and generate significant economic impact in Iowa,” says Iowa DOT Aviation Director, Tim McClung. “However, the larger impact comes from the benefits users gain by having a strong aviation system that supports the movement of people and goods. A healthy and vibrant system is an important component to Iowa’s friendly business climate,” he adds.

The Iowa Aviation Economic Impact Report analyzed aviation uses including:

  • Airline service (4 million passengers annually)
  • Air cargo (90,000 tons each year)
  • Military aviation (6 military units)
  • Business aviation (flights to 49 states and 27 countries)
  • Air medical (4,100 patient flights annually)
  • Aerial application (400+ aircraft spraying an estimated 5 million acres)
  • Public safety (using aircraft in law enforcement)
  • Grassroot aviation activity (personal travel, airshows, charity flights)
  • Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (using cutting-edge technology)
  • Aviation education (5 higher education programs and flight training at 47 airports)

Information in the report is expected to assist aviation interested groups, including local, state, and federal officials, in making informed decisions related to operations and investments in Iowa’s air transportation system. It will also be used in educating the public on the uses and benefits of aviation in Iowa. The full report and other materials are available on the Iowa DOT’s Aviation Website.


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


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