A. Lee Graham
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport’s economic impact on the Dallas-Fort Worth area exceeds $31 billion each year, according to a new study by the University of North Texas Center for Economic Development and Research.
Results see the airport producing almost double the economic impact than previous studies have indicated because it includes airport cargo operations and related business activity not part of previous studies, according to an airport news release. Study findings were presented this week at the Aerotropolis Americas Conference at the Hyatt Regency DFW.
“There’s no question D/FW is a major contributor to the Dallas-Fort Worth economy, not only because the airport hosts more than 1,900 flights a day, but because D/FW also creates jobs and economic activity through capital improvement projects such as our Terminal Renewal and Improvement Program,” said Sean Donohue, airport CEO, commenting in a news release.
“This study captures in some pretty big numbers how dynamic our airport is in providing valuable growth and opportunities for our citizens,” Donohue said.
According to the study, the airport directly or indirectly supports more than 143,000 permanent jobs to North Texas residents, including 60,000 people who work on airport premises every day, yielding more than $9 billion in annual wages, salaries, and benefits.
The study also found that airport air cargo operations support $16.7 billion in regional economic activity annually, while business activity and visitor spending associated with airport operations generate more than $1.7 billion annually for state and local taxing jurisdictions. Business tenants at the airport, not including concessionaires located in terminals, generate almost $1.6 billion in regional economic activity each year.
“It’s clear to us that Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is a key driver of economic success for North Texas,” said Terry Clower, director of the Center for Economic Development and Research at the University of North Texas.
“In an increasingly global economy, this critical component of the region’s transportation infrastructure supports business activity through easy access to markets around the world and enhances the quality of life for North Texas residents,” Clower said.
D/FW Airport has seen the strongest period of international air service growth in its history in the past three years, according to the airport news release. It added 20 new destinations, 17 of them new international destinations, along with 26 new international flights, seven new airline carriers. The airport has attracted more than $1 billion in new annual economic activity for the North Texas region as a direct result of that air service expansion.
To create the DFW impact study, the University of North Texas used the IMPLAN economic input-output model developed by MIG Inc., which tracks how spending flows through the economy. The IMPLAN model is widely used in academic and professional economics research.