A new study says Dallas Fort Worth International Airport’s annual economic impact is $37 billion and that will grow as the airport pursues a plan to build a new terminal.
DFW Airport CEO Sean Donohue announced the new economic impact figure on Tuesday, citing new figures from The Perryman Group.
“Our economic impact can’t be measured alone in jobs, it must also be measured in the economic impact it has on so many other businesses in our area including the success and growth of small, minority and women-owned businesses,” said Donohue. “At DFW International Airport, we are proud that we have played a part in helping the Dallas Fort Worth area grow to one that is now home to 21 Fortune 500 companies, including American Airlines.”
The study also said DFW supports 228,000 jobs in the area with an associated payroll of $12.5 billion annually, a significant increase over the figures calculated in a study two years ago. The previous study said DFW Airport had an annual economic impact of $32 billion.
During his State of the Airport address Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency at the airport, Donohue pledged DFW Airport would continue to aggressively market itself globally to bring new airline service from major international destinations and position DFW and the region on the international stage. DFW currently has airline service to 57 international destinations, with 17 of those arriving in just the past five years.
“To build the airport of the future, we must start to think strategically how and where to expand our operations,” said Donohue. “We already know that much of our future growth will come from international travel.”
Donohue said DFW Airport currently has 165 gates, but that may not be adequate for future growth. A new Terminal F, which airport officials have discussed before, would add about 30 gates.
“While we have seen a tremendous expansion of international flights at DFW, we see a great opportunity as a region to win even more on the global stage,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. “The ability to connect the DFW area to international commerce and tourism will keep our region strong and growing.”
The airport is “our gateway to the world,” said Airport Board Chair Lillie Biggins. “It makes our world just a little bit smaller and allows us to learn and appreciate new cultures and traditions, to expand new horizons, and to embark on a journey that will leave an impression on us forever.”
Donohue said the new DFW brand unveiled Oct. 1 will serve as a central component in communicating DFW’s story to the world. Over the last five years DFW has conducted about a dozen air service development missions to promote new air service and support existing service to places including China, South America, the Middle East and Australia.
“Working together, we can build on our success, we can continue to expand the North Texas economy, achieve new goals and reach new heights around the country and around the world,” said Donohue.
Donohue also reported that DFW Airport has become the first U.S. airport to achieve a Level Three certification under the Airport Carbon Accreditation program for successfully reducing carbon emissions and engaging local partners to do the same.
“This certifies our leadership as an airport that takes care of the environment even as we take care of business,” said Donohue.
Donohue also said the United States Patent Office today has issued DFW Airport its first ever patent for the development of “interactive information display” technology that allows customers to use touch screens to find their way to restaurants, shops and services in the terminals.
As a key factor in improving the experience for DFW Airport users, Donohue referenced the ongoing $2.7 billion dollar Terminal Renewal and Improvement Program (TRIP) project to renew the airport’s four original terminals, now more than halfway complete, along with the addition of new amenities such as the new duty-free shopping facilities scheduled to open in Terminal D next year.