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Updated Study Demonstrates Economic Impact of Aviation

April 12, 2023 03:00 PM
By: Susan Heimberger

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​Over the past two years, data has been collected from our 120 public-use airports and their users to determine the economic impact aviation has on Pennsylvania. 

In 2019, aviation had a $34.1 billion impact on the Pennsylvania economy.  Due to the timing of this study with the COVID-19 pandemic, two base years were assessed. 2019 was used to document a regular year of activity and impact under normal circumstances, and 2020 was used to identify the changes in impact during a year of disruptions. 

This study also took a closer look at the emerging technology of Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) through 21 case studies across different major industries. The economic impact of UAS was not evaluated in the 2022 PA AEIS, but the case studies lay the foundation for future analysis. The 2022 AEIS includes an estimation of the impact of private hospital heliports as a separate category of impacts in the total economic impact of Pennsylvania's aviation system; the 10 operators included in the study had a $75 million impact in 2019.  

There are three main documents published on the new 2022 Economic Impact of Aviation webpage: Fact Sheet, Executive Summary, and Technical Report. In addition to the main documents, there are individual airport brochures for 67 of the public-use airports listed on their Travel In PA page.  

Still to come in 2023-2024:

  • Economic Impact Calculator – Users will be able to modify economic impact variables such as, increase in based aircraft, and see the change in overall economic impact  

GIS PA AEIS Story Map – An interactive visual display of aviation economic impact that will include multiple layers like legislative districts and county lines.