Minnesota’s public airport system generates $18.2 billion in annual economic activity statewide, according to a new study the Minnesota Department of Transportation released this week that details the economic impact of the state’s 133 public airports.

Additional study findings include:

  • The 126 public airports in Greater Minnesota support more than 13,000 jobs and more than $570 million in annual payroll.
  • Public airports create economic efficiencies that help many Greater Minnesota businesses compete nationally and globally, and create local jobs that support local economies.
  • Public airports support medical services essential to Greater Minnesota hospitals, including medical airlift, quick access for doctors and fast organ delivery.
  • Public airports provide infrastructure needed to deliver fast, efficient aerial firefighting and other emergency services throughout the state.
  • Public airports are essential to many aerial spray applicators, commonly known as “crop dusters,” that serve Minnesota’s agriculture economy.

The Walz administration has proposed $19.2 million this legislative session for airport projects in Brainerd, International Falls and Rochester.


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