TDOT Releases 2019 Aviation Economic Impact Study

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) has completed a year-long Statewide Aviation Economic Impact Study, finding Tennessee’s public-use airports contribute $40 billion to the state’s economy and support 220,936 jobs in Tennessee. 

Michelle Frazier

“A safe, secure, efficient, and resilient aviation system is essential to our state’s physical, economic, and social health.  This report recognizes aviation as a driver of the economy, including economic recovery,” said Michelle Frazier, Director of TDOT Aeronautics Division.

This Economic Impact Study represents the 2019 annual economic impact of the aviation system on the state’s economy.   Therefore, the study is a good representation of the annual economic impact of the aviation system during a non-pandemic world.

The study analyzed the economic impacts of on-airport activities, off-airport activities, multiplier impacts, and freight/cargo.  Examples of on-airport activities include economic impacts from business tenants, airport construction spending, and airport employment.  Off-airport impacts include visitor spending.  Visitor spending generated 69,965 jobs and $9 billion in business revenue to the state in 2019.  Analysis found that freight/cargo impacts generated 82,357 jobs, and $19 billion in business revenue.   

“Tennessee’s 78 public-use airports are critical components of the state’s transportation network, linking and providing access to regional, national, and global transportation systems,” said Clay Bright, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

The Aviation Economic Impact Study details the $40 billion economic impact of aviation in Tennessee.  Airports serve as a catalyst for people to conduct business, serve clients, and ship cargo.  Having a well maintained and diverse aviation system supports a robust economy. 

View the Executive Summary, including the breakdown of each individual airport’s contributions.