Goodman: Study inflated economic impact of airport
Thursday, November 15, 2012 10:00 AM
The chairman of the city's aviation board laughed when he heard that a new study says Madison Municipal Airport has pumped more than $11 million into the economy this year and supported the equivalent of 390 full-time jobs. The study of the 69 public-use airports in Indiana was issued Monday.
"I have a problem with that," Dick Goodman said, laughing. "I don't know where they get that."
The report was developed by the Aviation Association of Indiana, Conexus Indiana and the Indiana Department of Transportation, according to a press release about the study. Conexus, an advanced-manufacturing and logistics initiative, was launched by the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership.
"The study was modeled after FAA- (Federal Aviation Administration) endorsed study methodologies to determine the economic impact of both on-airport and off-airport property businesses to the state's economy," the report said. "This includes the economic impact of businesses located on airport property, such as airlines and air traffic control, and airport users, including businesses that use airport services to support business functions."
The previous airport studies used different methods.
Madison Municipal Airport has five employees, but the study said there are 10. In the category of "jobs/airport users," the study listed 251.
Goodman said the study sponsors send out a survey but that a lot of recipients ignore it, so he is contacted for information. "It's real informal," he said.
He thinks the information-gatherers counted employees - and payrolls - of contractors who had workers at the airport to arrive at 251 jobs attributable to airport users.
The 10 employees the study listed had a payroll of $568,883, and the 251 "jobs/airport users" had a payroll of $12 million, the study says.
The study also measured "output," which the association's website says "measures the total value of goods, services and capital expenditures that result from Indiana aviation."
The on-airport output at Madison was $1.36 million, while the output from those 251 "jobs/airport users" was $77.71 million.
The study used a "multiplier effect" to account for other economic impacts, such as when someone connected with an airport spends money in the community. "For example, if a flight instructor takes his or her paycheck and buys lunch at a local restaurant, that money supports the payroll for the waiter, cook and busboy at the local restaurant who, in turn, may spend their paychecks on childcare, groceries or other items, continuing the cycle until those dollars may eventually leave the community."