On Tuesday, Governor Deval Patrick announced the results of a comprehensive statewide airport economic impact study that showed Massachusetts public airports generate $11.9 billion in economic activity and support approximately 124,000 jobs.
The study, done by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), included thirty-nine airports - both commercial (with scheduled airline service) and general aviation (GA) airports. Locally, Norwood Memorial Airport, a GA facility since 1946, fared very well. In 2010, Norwood Airport generated more than $51 million in total economic activity, second only to Westfield-Barnes among the state’s 30 GA airports. In all other major study categories, Norwood ranked at least second overall.
“Infrastructure investments just like these create jobs and improve public safety,” said Governor Patrick in his announcement on Nov. 15.
The report shows the total economic impact of the Massachusetts GA airports in terms of direct on-airport, direct visitor and multiplier impacts. Regarding visitor-related economic impacts, in particular, Norwood Airport ranked first among the state’s GA airports. The study found that more than 9,800 aircraft based outside the local area used Norwood Airport in 2010, translating to more than 23,000 visitors arriving at the Norwood Airport. According to the study, the money these visitors then spent off the airport, when re-circulated in the local economy, totaled more than $12.8 million in economic output.
The report also showed that the Norwood Airport directly or indirectly generated 386 jobs in 2010, with a total payroll exceeding $15 million. As a direct employer, Norwood is home to 12 on-airport businesses, a number of corporate flight departments, plus an air traffic control facility, which operates under the federal government’s purview.
“Our facility has always been a great economic engine, and we’re certainly encouraged by how well this most recent study quantified the Norwood Airport’s economic contributions," Norwood Airport Manager Russ Maguire said. "Of course, we see this every day, with the flights coming and going—bringing people, goods and services to and from the town. So while we’ve always known that this airport activity helps to boost our local economy, we now know by how much.”
The MassDOT study classified Norwood as a corporate/business airport serving a primary role in regional economic activities, while connecting to state and national economies.
Following the release of MassDOT’s findings earlier this week at Bridgewater State University's Aviation Training Facility located at the New Bedford Regional Airport, Gov. Deval Patrick proclaimed November "General Aviation Month.”