Study Finds Palm Beach International Airport Generates Billions For County Economy

The Florida Department of Transportation recently released its updated Florida Statewide Aviation Economic Impact Study, a project that started in October 2016. The report shows that Palm Beach International Airport generates more than $5.6 billion to the South Florida economy, both directly and indirectly.

The Palm Beach County Department of Airports is made of four airports in Palm Beach County: Palm Beach International (PBI), Palm Beach County Park (LNA), North Palm Beach County General Aviation (F45) and Palm Beach County Glades (PHK). The combined economic impact of the Palm Beach County airport system to the southeast Florida metropolitan area exceeds $7 billion. Palm Beach International Airport’s total employment topped 48,600 jobs, and the visitor spending contributions exceeded $2.3 billion to the region.

The airport system operates as an enterprise fund, meaning ad valorem tax dollars do not fund any portion of the four airports. Examples of airport revenue sources include, but are not limited to, airline fees, parking and ground transportation, general aviation, as well as non-aviation revenue such as airport-owned property leases.

The department also generates many non-aviation-related projects, which are not factored in to the department’s economic contribution. Recent examples include a 120 room Home2 Suites by Hilton, a Drive Shack golf and entertainment venue expected to create over 350 jobs, and a Toyota dealership, which are all located on airport property. “Aviation continues to represent a major economic engine in Palm Beach County,” said Laura Beebe, director of the Palm Beach County Department of Airports. “In addition to supporting travel and tourism, the county’s airports provide a significant contribution to the county’s overall economic health.”

The 2019 report estimates an annual economic impact associated with 20 commercial service airports, 100 public-use general aviation airports and 11 military aviation facilities on the economy of the State of Florida. This study includes economic impacts of various on-airport and off-airport aviation related activities.

As of 2017, the statewide economic impact for Florida’s aviation industry accounted for nearly $175 billion from four primary categories: On-Airport Activity ($72 billion), Visitor Spending ($90 billion), Industry Reliance ($2.2 billion) and Military Spending ($9.8 billion).

The report provides detailed analysis about how Florida’s airports connect people with businesses, support jobs, generate income and stimulate spending at the local, regional and state level.

Palm Beach International Airport serves more than 6.5 million passengers annually and offers nearly 200 nonstop flights daily. The airport Palm Beach International Airport was recently named the Ninth Best Domestic Airport in Travel + Leisure Magazine’s 2018 World’s Best Awards. Learn more at www.pbia.org.

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