Scottsdale Airport, the busiest single runway general aviation airport in the country, continues to be a significant asset for the city of Scottsdale and the entire region. This was confirmed recently by an economic analysis by Dr. Lee McPheters, research professor at Seidman Research Institute at the W.P. Carey School of Business at ASU. The airport experienced a 20.7-percent increase in total benefits since 2014. Total benefits consist of direct benefits like output, employment and income related to aviation activity plus secondary benefits from spending recycled into the regional economy.
Aviation activity at the airport and airpark created $688 million in total economic output (value of all goods and services) for 2019. Aviation activity also added $37 million to local and state tax revenues -- an economic benefit of $1.9 million daily.
The analysis confirms Scottsdale Airport’s significant economic contributions and the role it plays in bolstering benefits across the regional economy.
The analysis calculated the 2019 catalytic (spin-off) benefit of the airport to be $10 billion for the entire non-aviation portion of the Airpark, an increase of 22-percent over the 2014 figure of $8.2 billion (a 14.5 percent increase in 2019 dollars).
Scottsdale Airport has a strong influence on the Airpark, the second largest employment center in Arizona. Together, aviation activity in the airport/airpark supported 3,979 total jobs in the region with incomes to workers and proprietors of $241 million.
“These figures speak volumes on the importance of general aviation to our local, regional and state economies,” said Gary P. Mascaro, aviation director at Scottsdale Airport. “The airport is an economic powerhouse and an asset for the city.”
The prominent economic benefits derived from Scottsdale Airport are employment, corporate jet customers and air visitors.
There are 1,706 aviation-related jobs at Scottsdale Airport with the inclusion of the Airpark.
According to Dr. McPheters, “This is more than any other general aviation airport in the state. Falcon Field has 1,486 jobs at the airport and in the most recent report, Deer Valley has 965 jobs on-site. Flagstaff Airport provides 498 jobs.”
Scottsdale Airport has 478 based aircraft and 176 of these (37 percent) are corporate jets; a higher percentage than at any other airport in the Phoenix area.
“The Phoenix metro area has several excellent general aviation airports, but what sets Scottsdale apart as a driver for the economy is the number of corporate jets based there, more than the combined total at all other Valley airports,” said McPheters.
Air visitors create high-powered economic benefits for the area -- especially during events like the Barrett Jackson Classic Car Auction and Waste Management Phoenix Open. The study showed that air visitors arriving into Scottsdale Airport spent $54 million in the region -- a 36 percent increase from 2014.
“Another unique indicator for Scottsdale Airport is the proportion of air traffic due to visiting aircraft arriving from outside the area,” said McPheters. “At Scottsdale Airport that figure is about 60 percent, compared to 20 to 30 percent at less active general aviation airports.”
About the Economic Benefit Update
Scottsdale Airport contracted with Coffman Associates who subcontracted with ASU and Dr. Lee McPheters to author the study. The last Economic Benefit study for Scottsdale Airport was completed in 2015.
About Scottsdale Airport
Scottsdale Airport -- a single runway airport without commercial scheduled service -- had 186,000 landings and takeoffs last year. The airport, owned by the city of Scottsdale, is the busiest single runway general aviation airport and the second busiest single runway for all airports. Visitors are lured to Scottsdale by competitive advantages like ease of access, convenient location and quality service.
Read the full Economic Benefit study.