Home > Airport Authority Helps Region Thrive: Generates $29 Billion in Economic Activity for SW PA

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Allegheny County Airport Authority Helps Region Thrive:

Generates $29 Billion in Economic Activity, 148,000 Jobs in SW PA


Economic Impact Study shows Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County Airport as Critical Economic Generators for 10-County Region 


 The Allegheny County Airport Authority and the airports it manages – Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County Airport – are among Southwestern Pennsylvania’s top economic generators, contributing billions in business revenues, job creation and growth opportunities.


The Airport Authority and its two airports contribute a total of $29 billion in business revenues and almost 148,000 jobs to southwestern Pennsylvania, according to a new economic impact study conducted by Economic Development Research Group in association with John J. Clark and Associates.


“The airport is a major piece of the economic development strategy for this region. Connecting businesses to markets, and now bringing cargo and manufactured goods into our region, results in jobs for the people who call this community home,” Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said. “We are delighted to partner with so many industries in this region as we continue to develop the 9,000 acres at the airport for corporate headquarters, distribution centers, back office operations and many more uses.”


“Just as importantly, the airport has connected Pittsburghers to many more locations than they’ve had access to in the past, allowing them to travel for leisure as well as business, making them important partners in the development of the airport,” Fitzgerald said.


The study examines the contribution of the Airport Authority to the economies of Allegheny County and the rest of Southwestern Pennsylvania, including Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland counties.


The last economic impact study of the Airport Authority was conducted in 2009, and many of the previous findings have changed. Over the past three years, total operations, nonstop flights, and leases have increased at Pittsburgh International and Allegheny County airports. Passenger traffic at PIT has also increased annually since 2014, up more than 8 percent in 2017.


“From creating jobs and opportunities for nearly every business sector from tourism to cargo, and welcoming nearly 9 million business and leisure passengers last year, this study shows the massive role our airports play in advancing our region’s success,” said Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO Christina Cassotis. “And, as a result of new flights, new partnerships and more passengers, our airports’ economic footprint is expanding. Our goal is to maximize the value of this tremendous asset for the region.


The study shows that the region relies on both airports not only for economic benefits, but also as the national and international gateway for visitors to Southwestern Pennsylvania.


“When visitors fly into our region, they make a strong impact on the economy,” said Craig Davis, CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH. The study indicates that spending by visitors to the region results in $800 million added to the gross regional product and more than 11,000 jobs.


Additionally, some 8,000 metric tons of cargo equaling $700 million are shipped from Pittsburgh International to domestic and international markets.


Beyond direct jobs and revenues, visitor and worker spending, as well as resulting spin-off businesses, the Airport Authority propels economic growth in development on its property.


Pittsburgh International Airport encompasses 8,800 acres in Moon and Findlay townships. Over the past two decades, private companies have invested about $350 million to develop more than three million square feet of manufacturing, industrial, office and warehouse space on airport property. These companies contribute more than $1.3 billion in business activity and almost 5,700 jobs to the regional economy.


Tax revenue linked to operations at both airports totaled approximately $98 million from direct activities. No local tax dollars are used in the airports’ operating budgets.


The complete economic impact study can be accessed at www.flypittsburgh.com/economicimpact.

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