Economic Impact

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Airports are more than just airplanes and runways. They are vital economic drivers.

In 2012, the Columbus Regional Airport Authority commissioned an independent study to measure the economic benefits associated with John Glenn International, Rickenbacker and Bolton Field Airports, as well as select businesses located at Rickenbacker Inland Port with direct ties to the Airport Authority.

The economic impact study followed a proven, FAA-supported methodology that considered direct on-airport activities, capital improvement projects, visitor related expenditures and the ripple effects generated as individuals or firms associated with airport businesses bought goods and services in the community.

The study found that the community’s aviation system assets account for more than 54,000 jobs, $1.8 billion in annual payroll and $6.6 billion in total annual economic output.

Below is a chart that summarizes the economic impact of each airport and their combined effect on the Central Ohio Region.


John Glenn Columbus International Airport
 JobsAnnual PayrollAnnual Economic Output
Airport Tenants   
Direct Impacts5,566$283.5 Million$1.3 Billion
Multiplier Impacts6,222$198.3 Million$1.0 Billion
Total11,788$481.8 Million$2.3 Billion
Commercial Service Visitor Industry   
Direct Impacts13,117$293.7 Million$788.5 Million
Multiplier Impacts8,464$283.2 Million$643.2 Million
Total21,581$576.9 Million$1.4 Billion
General Aviation Visitor Industry   
Direct Impacts60$1.4 Million$3.5 Million
Multiplier Impacts35$1.2 Million$2.8 Million
Total95$2.6 Million$6.3 Million
Total33,464$1.1 Billion$3.7 Billion
Rickenbacker International Airport
 JobsAnnual PayrollAnnual Economic Output
Airport Tenants   
Direct Impacts2,518$165.1 Million$473.0 Million
Multiplier Impacts2,280$101.9 Million$430.3 Million
Total4,798$267.1 Million$903.4 Million
Commercial Service Visitor Industry   
Direct Impacts1$23,000$94,000
Multiplier Impacts1$22,000$77,000
General Aviation Visitor Industry   
Direct Impacts4$90,000$241,000
Multiplier Impacts2$81,000$196,000
Total4,806$267.3 Million$904.0 Million
Select Off-Airport Businesses within Rickenbacker Inland Port
 JobsAnnual PayrollAnnual Economic Output
Intermodal Terminal   
Direct Impacts150$6.8 Million$25.8 Million
Multiplier Impacts259$6.1 Million$23.8 Million
Total409$12.9 Million$49.6 Million
Freight Forwarder/Distribution Center    
Direct Impacts7,395$261.9 Million$875.1 Million
Multiplier Impacts6,750$192.6 Million$840.1 Million
Total14,145$454.6 Million$1.7 Billion
Manufacturing/Production Business   
Direct Impacts216$8.9 Million$37.4 Million
Multiplier Impacts240$7.4 Million$31.7 Million
Total456$16.3 Million$69.0 Million
Business Support Services Provider   
Direct Impacts14$648,000$721,000
Multiplier Impacts9$386,000$787,000
Total23$1.0 Million$1.5 Million
Direct Impacts390$15.8 Million$46.9 Million
Multiplier Impacts375$14.6 Million$44.0 Million
Total765$30.4 Million$90.9 Million
Total15,798$515.2 Million$1.9 Billion
Bolton Field Airport
 JobsAnnual PayrollAnnual Economic Output
Airport Tenants   
Direct Impacts47$1.4 Million$5.9 Million
Multiplier Impacts51$949,000$4.8 Million
Total98$2.3 Million$10.8 Million
General Aviation Visitor Industry   
Direct Impacts4$90,000$221,000
Multiplier Impacts2$81,000$180,000
Total104$2.5 Million$11.2 Million
Total54,172$1.8 Billion$6.6 Billion


For more information, view the Economic Impact Brochure or the full report.