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AVL contributes $2 billion to economy

Asheville Regional Airport contributes nearly $2 billion to the region’s economy and supports 12,520 jobs, according to a new report released by the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation last week. 

The report also shows that of this economic impact, the airport contributes nearly $402 million in personal income and $65.4 million in state and local taxes.

“The airport has always been an economic anchor organization in western North Carolina, woven into the growth and vitality of our region,” said Lew Bleiweis, AVL’s executive director. ”This report from the Division of Aviation shows the significance of the airport’s impact. Although the global pandemic has slowed the economy and the travel industry temporarily, recovery is underway and we will return to these levels – and surpass them – in coming years.”

In total, North Carolina’s publicly owned airports contribute $61 billion to the state’s economy and support 373,000 jobs, the NCDOT said. Airports and aviation-related jobs also provide $15 billion in personal income and contribute $2.5 billion in state and local tax revenues every year, based on 2019 data.

“Airports are a significantly important business sector not only to our region, but to the state, country and global economies,” said Matthew Burril, chair of the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority Board. ”The aviation industry interconnects the economy and culture like no other industry. We are fortunate to have a growing and thriving commercial airport that continues to drive recurring economic benefit to our western North Carolina region.”

The report, North Carolina: The State of Aviation, highlights the pre-pandemic economic impacts of the state’s public airports and the related aviation and aerospace assets that support North Carolina’s aviation economy. NCDOT creates the report every two years to help guide future investment in aviation infrastructure and provide a tool for recruiting aviation and aerospace industry companies and investment.