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The Texas system of nearly 300 airports not only provides the State with a safe and efficient mode of transportation, it is also an important stimulus for economic growth and development. By providing aviation-related services, the system supports tens of thousands of jobs and produces billions of dollars in economic activity. The State's largest employers, and many smaller businesses, rely on aviation to rapidly transport personnel, equipment, and supplies.

Texas airports serve as the base of operation for a diverse group of businesses, including airlines, air cargo companies, fixed base operators, flight schools, government entities, agricultural applicators, restaurants and others. Additionally, the vast tourism industry is supported by both commercial service and general aviation. The millions of visitors that flock to Texas each year support a variety of tourist-related business activities, such as lodging, dining, retail, and entertainment. 

To better understand the relationship between Texas’ system of airports that support general aviation and the statewide economy, the Texas Department of Transportation, Aviation Division, periodically assesses the economic impact of aviation using a method that has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and applied to airport systems throughout the United States. Through a comprehensive survey process, the direct economic benefits related to on-airport business tenants and the indirect benefits associated with visitor-related expenditures were determined for each system airport. The multiplier effect of these benefits was then calculated to ascertain the total airport-related impacts.

When all 2005 impacts at Texas airports are summed, nearly 62,000 jobs can be traced to general aviation. These employees receive more than $2.5 billion in payroll and benefits. In total, more than $8.7 billion in economic activity can be attributed to general aviation activity in the State.

This represents a 50 percent increase since the last benchmark in 2001. In addition to economic benefits, the system of airports provides numerous critical services to enhance the quality of life, health, safety, and welfare of Texas citizens. Examples include business development, enhancing agricultural production, medical transport and evacuation, access to remote areas, law enforcement, fire protection, wildlife management, and recreation.

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