BVS adds $86 million to local economy

Skagit Regional Airport (BVS) in Washington state generates $85.9 million per year in economic impacts for the Skagit Valley, according to a new report issued by the Aviation Division of the Washington State Department of Transportation.

The recently-released 2012 Aviation Economic Impact Study assessed activity directly associated with Washington’s 135 public airports, namely aviation-related businesses operating at the airports plus visitors using the airports. It also included multiplier effects from this initial activity to account for portions of wages and spending by businesses and visitors that are respent within the local economy.

“Skagit Regional Airport, owned and operated by the Port of Skagit, is the aerial gateway to Washington’s beautiful Skagit Valley,” the report stated. “Its 5,477-foot primary runway is suitable for business, commercial and recreational aircraft.” According to WSDOT, 61,480 takeoffs and landings occur annually at the airport.

Aviation-related businesses at the airport and adjacent Bayview Business Park produced 346 direct jobs with an annual payroll of $17.2 million, plus 168 indirect jobs paying $5.9 million, the report said. Direct output by these businesses was estimated at $39.2 million, and indirect output was $18.4 million.

Visitors traveling through the airport spend an estimated $2.4 million per year, and these expenditures support 23 direct jobs paying $670,000 per year, according to the report. Another 12 indirect jobs, paying $586,000 per year, are generated by the re-spending of the direct wages. Direct and indirect output by visitor-supported businesses produced an additional $3.9 million in annual activity.

The WSDOT report also tallied state and local taxes generated by activity at the airport, including $219,500 paid to Skagit County, local cities and special districts. Taxes paid to the state totaled $1,317,000.

“This study clearly shows what a great economic asset Skagit Regional Airport is for Skagit County,” said Bill Shuler, president of the Skagit Port Commission. “And the report doesn’t even get into other airport benefits such as medical evacuations, mercy flights, search and rescue, and emergency responses to natural disasters. Plus, the ability to connect by air with other regions, national and international, can be critical in attracting businesses to locate in Skagit County.”

Highlights of the 2012 study include:

  • Statewide commercial and general aviation activity generate approximately 248,500 jobs, $15.3 billion in wages, and $50.9 billion in economic activity.
  • A significant share of aviation system contributions are from the mobility and connectivity of people, goods and services across all modes of transportation.
  • Tax revenues generated from aviation activities provide the State of Washington General Fund more than $540 million annually. Cities, special purpose districts, and counties receive approximately $243 million in annual revenue.



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