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WELCOME

Welcome to the WSDOT Aviation Economic Impact Calculator. This tool is designed to assist users in estimating an airport’s change in regional economic impacts based on potential changes in activity at the airport. The calculations in this tool are high-level estimates designed to give a sense of magnitude of economic impacts, but are not to be taken as specific projections. The tool uses averages and typical ranges to provide a reasonable estimate of impacts based on the types of changes entered, which should not be assumed to be precise calculations.

The base data used in the Calculator comes from the Airport Information System (AIS) database, which consists of airport activity information self-reported by airport managers. It is important to keep in mind that inaccuracies or out of date information in the AIS may result in estimates that are inconsistent with the current state of the airport.

Please read the instructions carefully to understand the purpose and limitations of the Aviation Economic Impact Calculator.

HOW TO USE THE TOOL

The Calculator allows you to enter changes (increase or reduction in activity) at an airport in five categories:

  1. Fuel sales offered at airport
  2. Changes in flight activity
  3. Changes in business activity
  4. Changes in cargo activity
  5. Capital projects

For each project that you want to evaluate, you must first estimate how that project will result in one or more changes in these categories. You might ask questions such as:

  1. Does this project have an impact on operations?
  2. Does this project have an impact on the revenue or jobs of on-site businesses?
  3. Will there be a construction element to this project?

Then you can enter the increase or reduction of activity in the appropriate field.

Entering Scenarios

The new scenario entered in the Calculator must only be the anticipated CHANGE in activity; that is, additional new activity or the activity expected to be removed from the airport. Do NOT enter the combined total of new scenario activity and existing activity, as this will overstate the impacts of your project.

In some areas of the Calculator, there will be information labeled “Currently” that is automatically populated from the AIS database for your reference.

Estimating Impacts

Once you have entered your information, you must press the “Recalculate” button at the bottom of the input area. Below that you will see the airport’s current estimated economic impacts as well as the estimated impacts resulting from the new scenario(s) you have entered.

DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS OF EACH SECTION

The first section of the Calculator following the disclaimer has four fields, described below:

  1. Airport Name – This contains a drop-down box where you must select the airport you want to use for your new scenario. You must choose an airport for the tool to work. If you are unsure of the official name of an airport or want to look up an airport by its three-letter ID, please refer to page xxi of the Washington State Airport Guide (this link opens a PDF document).
  2. FAA Site Number – This field shows the FAA designated site number for the airport you have selected.
  3. Year – This refers to the year of the airport information being pulled from the AIS database and displayed in the white fields marked “Currently”. It can be changed to any year for which there is data in the AIS.
  4. Counties in the Economic Impact Region – This field will automatically populate based on the airport selected. It shows the region for which the economic impacts are being estimated. The counties in the economic impact region define the geography in which estimated direct, indirect, and induced impacts will occur. The exception is visitor spending. Because it is impossible to know where visitors will travel to and spend their money once they arrive in the State, visitor spending impacts are estimated statewide.

Fuel Sales Offered at Airport

This section allows you to test a change in the status of fuel sales at the airport, for Aviation Gas (AvGas) and Jet Fuel separately. The “Currently” field will populate with a “yes” or “no” based on whether the airport currently sells that type of fuel. The “New Scenario” field will default to the current status, but can be changed if you choose.

AvGas is assumed to be provided by self-service and Jet Fuel is assumed to be provided through full-service.

Aviation Gas

Because AvGas is assumed to be provided by self-service, the jobs associated with providing fuel service are not assumed to change with a change in the level of flight activity. If the airport currently sells AvGas, and you opt to continue assuming fuel sales, the Calculator will assume no change in the estimated economic impacts.

If the airport does not currently sell either type of fuel and you choose to run the scenario assuming AvGas fuel sales, economic impacts will be added based on the establishment of a new fuel sales operation. If the airport already sells Jet Fuel, the Calculator assumes that the full-service Jet Fuel staff are also handling the sales of AvGas. Therefore, changes in the status of AvGas fuel sales will not have an impact on jobs at the airport.

If the airport currently has AvGas but not Jet Fuel sales and you choose to remove those fuel sales from the scenario being tested, the Calculator will remove jobs and revenue assumed to be related to current fuel sales.

Jet Fuel

Because Jet Fuel sales are assumed to be full-service, the jobs associated with providing that service may increase in relation to operations. If the airport currently sells Jet Fuel and you opt to continue assuming fuel sales, an increase or reduction in fuel sales will be estimated based on a change in operations entered in the Changes in Flight Activity section for those flights that use Jet Fuel (corporate jet aircraft, commercial air taxis, and commercial air carriers).

If the airport does not currently sell fuel and you choose to run the scenario assuming fuel sales, the Calculator will assume new fuel sales based on both current operations and new operations.

If the airport currently has fuel sales and you choose to remove fuel sales from the scenario being tested, the Calculator will remove jobs and revenue it assumes to be related to current fuel sales based on current operations.

Changes in Flight Activity

This section should be used for expected changes in operations. You are given the following categories:

  1. General Itinerant Operations
    1. Personal Aircraft
    2. Business Flights (small aircraft)
    3. Corporate Flights (jet aircraft)
  2. General Local Operations
    1. Personal Aircraft
    2. Business Flights (small aircraft)
    3. Corporate Flights (jet aircraft)
  3. Commercial Air Taxi Operations (Charters)
    1. Assumed airplane seating capacity
    2. Assumed % of seats filled (load factor)
  4. Commercial Air Carrier Operations (Scheduled)
    1. Assumed airplane seating capacity
    2. Assumed % of seats filled (load factor)

General Operations

Changes in General Itinerant Operations will result in estimated changes in visitor spending and Corporate Flights will impact assumptions for Jet Fuel sales (if the scenario assumes fuel sales, see above for further explanation).

Changes in General Local Operations will not assume any increase in jobs at the airport, except for the Corporate Flights section which will impact assumptions for Jet Fuel sales (if the scenario assumes fuel sales, see above for further explanation).

NOTE: If you expect that these activities will generate additional revenue for on-site, aviation-related businesses, such as sightseeing income, or cause a need for new jobs at an aviation-related business located on the airport, you will need to enter those jobs and revenue impacts on the Changes in Business Activity tab to capture the full impact.

Commercial Operations

Changes in Commercial Air Taxi or Commercial Air Carrier Operations require you to estimate the seating capacity of the new flights as well as the percent of seats occupied (load factor). The Calculator defaults to a load factor of 75%, which is an industry standard assumption for commercial air traffic, but this may be changed if you choose to better reflect the specific airport being analyzed. This percentage affects the number of passengers estimated on each added or subtracted flight, impacting the estimates of visitor spending and airline revenue.

Changes in these categories will estimate changes in Jet Fuel sales (if the scenario assumes fuel sales - see above for further explanation), changes in visitor spending, and changes in airline revenue.

Entering Negative Numbers

You may enter negative numbers to see the estimated economic consequences of removing existing flights. However, you may not remove more flights than are listed under the current data. In addition, is imperative that you reasonably estimate the airplane capacities and number of seats filled for commercial flights based on what is currently flying at the airport. Incorrect estimations can result in over- or under-estimating the impacts of removing those flights.

Changes in Business Activity

This section is for estimating changes in revenue and jobs at businesses located on airport property that are aviation-related. It is not designed to estimate the impact of jobs or revenue at businesses not located at the airport, such as in a neighboring city, or business that are located at the airport but do not use the airport for their business operations, such as a warehouse company that could be located in an off-site industrial park.

You are given the following business categories for which to enter estimated changes:

  1. Aircraft and Aircraft Engine Manufacturing
  2. Other Manufacturing/Fabrication
  3. Warehousing and Storage
  4. Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services
  5. Machinery/Equipment Repair and Maintenance
  6. Scientific Research and Development
  7. Sightseeing Transportation
  8. Retail Businesses
  9. Other Businesses and Support Services

For each of the business categories, you may enter an increase or reduction in jobs, wages, or sales, or any combination of the three. If you do not enter a number in one of the three fields, or if you enter a zero, the Calculator will estimate a value based on the information you did enter.

NOTE: The Calculator is designed to interpret an entry of zero as a lack of information, and will attempt to fill in that field based on relationships to other entered information. If the scenario you are analyzing includes a desired zero, enter a low, non-zero number instead, such as one. This will have minimal impact on the estimated economic impact and will keep the tool from trying to estimate the field itself.

If you are estimating impacts for more than one business in the same category, you must sum together the jobs, wages, and sales for those businesses.

If you enter jobs together with either wages or sales, the Calculator will show you the resulting wages per job or sales per job for your information as a check on the accuracy of your entry.

Changes in Cargo Activity

This section is for changes in cargo flights and cargo business activity. You must enter at least three pieces of information:

  1. Estimated change in cargo operations;
  2. Estimated percentage of operations that will use Jet Fuel; and
  3. Estimated changes in cargo business sales, wages, OR jobs (or any combination of the three)

The change in operations and estimated percent using Jet Fuel will allow the Calculator to estimate a change in Jet Fuel sales from new or reduced flights (operations using AvGas do not affect the estimated jobs associated with selling AvGas since it is self-service). The change in sales, wages, or jobs will allow the Calculator to estimate impacts from the change in business activity. Like the section above, if you leave any of the sales, wages, or jobs fields blank, the Calculator will estimate them for you.

Capital Projects

This section is for entering dollars that will be spent on one-time capital projects at the airport. You are given two categories of projects:

  1. Infrastructure. Examples of infrastructure are new roads, paving of existing roads, pavement overlay, improvements or addition of utilities, etc.
  2. New Buildings. Examples of new buildings are hangars, air traffic control towers, warehouses, or office complexes.

You are given four categories for types of funding:

  1. Federal grants
  2. State grants
  3. Local funding
  4. Other funding

From your estimated dollars, the Calculator will estimate the one-time impacts from the construction activity. Note that these impacts are different from all other fields on the Calculator in that these impacts are only assumed to occur during the period of construction, while all other impacts are assumed to continue indefinitely. These one-time impacts are summarized separately in the results section of the Calculator.

NOTE: If a capital project also has long-term business impacts, those impacts must be added separately in the above sections to fully capture all economic impacts.

READING THE IMPACT TABLES

The impacts of the airport’s current activity (estimated in the original Aviation Economic Impact Study) and the new scenario activity you have entered are displayed in tables at the bottom of the interface. Impacts from airport business activity and construction activity are shown on the left. Impacts from visitor spending are shown on the right. The impacts of one-time capital projects are shown in the bottom left table.

Airport business and construction activity impacts (the left column of tables) are being estimated for a defined Economic Impact Region for each specific airport. The counties included in the Economic Impact Region are shown next to the airport selection drop down box at the top of the Calculator site. These counties define the geography in which estimated direct, indirect, and induced impacts are assumed to occur.

Impacts from visitor spending (the right column of tables) are estimated statewide.

All of the tables defined above show estimated annual ongoing impacts. Note that jobs are headcounts, not Full Time Equivalents.