The Waynesville-St. Robert Airport at Forney Field in Fort Leonard Wood contributes approximately $26 million to Missouri's economy, according to a recent study released by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).
Using Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines, the Missouri Statewide Airports Economic Impact Study looked at direct and indirect impacts nine commercial and 99 public-use airports make to Missouri's economy.
Bryan Gregory, MoDOT aviation operations manager, said that MoDOT hired the consultant Landrum and Brown to conduct the study. A federal grant from the FAA helped fund the study, Gregory said.
The study showed that Waynesville- St. Robert airport contributes 297 jobs with an estimated payroll of $8,727,0000. Jobs represent the number of people who are employed and are presented as full-time equivalent jobs. Payroll represents the total annual wages, salaries and benefits paid to all workers.
When all economic activities are considered, total annual economic output of the Waynesville-St. Robert Airport is estimated at $26,205,000. Output measures the value of goods, services and capital expenditures.
The study showed that 108 of the airports statewide that MoDOT helps support contribute 100,621 jobs with an estimated payroll of $3.1 billion to the Missouri economy.
Total annual economic output of Missouri's system of airports is estimated at $11.1 billion. This represents 4.3 percent of the gross state product. The study used data from 2012.
The study indicated that the economic contribution of Missouri airports grew 17.1 percent in the past decade – despite the economic recession.The Waynesville St. Robert Regional Airport is a joint-use facility operated by the two cities along with Fort Leonard Wood. The United States Army owns the real property and the cities of Waynesville and St. Robert are the civilian sponsors for non-military aviation operations. The airport is open to both military and civilians.
The airport is served by one commercial airline, CapeAir, which offers four flights per day to St. Louis.
At a recent Waynesville City Council meeting, CapeAir marketing manager Stacey Ross said that total traffic for CapeAir in the Waynesville- St. Robert Airport increased by 15 percent from 2011 to 2012 and increased another 1 percent through October 2013. Ross said that July 2013 was Cape Air’s best month ever in the airport, with 1,596 total passengers.
Types of impact
The economic impact generated by Missouri's airports is quantified in terms of direct, indirect and induced economic activity and spending.
Direct impacts are based on the employment, wages and sales generated by on-airport business activity. Common direct impacts stem from tenants like FBOs or aircraft maintenance operations.
Indirect impacts arise from visitors arriving by aircraft and their spending on food, hotels, entertainment, transportation and other activities. These expenditures support additional jobs, wages and output.
Induced impacts, also referred to as multiplier impacts, are created through the "spin-off" effect of users purchasing goods and services from other local businesses and through workers spending wages and other income for household goods and services.
Page 2 of 2 - For example, when an airport employee is paid, he or she uses their salary to purchase local goods and services at businesses in the area, which in turn spend their revenue locally, thus generating additional economic activity in the region.
Combined, the direct, indirect and induced impacts determine the total economic impacts for each airport and the statewide airport system.
"In addition to airports' status as a substantial job and payroll contributor, we found communities large and small rely on Missouri airports to spur economic growth and increase access to regional and worldwide markets." said MoDOT Director Dave Nichols.
"It's also important to note that Missouri aircraft are used to rescue, to transport patients and medical personnel, to treat crops and monitor forests, among other activities," said Gregory. "Aviation contributes to our quality of life."
Airport study details can be found at MoDOT's website, www.modot.org.
The last similar study for airports in Missouri was conducted based on 2002 data.