The South Carolina Aeronautics Commission (SCAC) has issued a report showing that Donaldson Field leads the state in economic impact among general aviation airports.
Located at the South Carolina Technology & Aviation Center (SCTAC) in Greenville, S.C., Donaldson Field is the state’s largest general aviation airport, encompassing 1,400 acres.
The airport is an important hub for cargo air freight and serves as a bustling aircraft maintenance and modification center providing everything from major repairs to routine inspections, according to airport officials. Other uses include air charters, hangar and tie-down rental, flight lessons, pilot and aircraft supplies.
The SCAC report estimates Donaldson Field’s annual economic impact at $522.41 million, which is derived from employment, payroll, and total spending.
Direct and indirect employment at Donaldson Field is estimated at 1,874 with an annual payroll of $129.3 million. Total annual spending from airport activities is $393.1 million.
“The Upstate economy relies heavily on Donaldson Field to keep businesses operating around the clock,” says SCTAC Chief Operations Officer Danny Moyd. “The value we deliver compared to our operating and upkeep costs is one of the state’s best investments and we continue to work hard to improve upon that value every day.”
One upgrade currently underway at Donaldson Field is the repaving of its main taxiway, which has not been repaved since its original construction in 1942. Funded by a federal grant, the $3.8 million project will allow the airport to support larger aircraft, airport officials note.
SCTAC is a self-sufficient entity with financial strength that does not rely on local taxpayers for funding. SCTAC is home to Lockheed Martin’s Greenville Operations Center providing nose-to-tail aircraft modification, maintenance, repair and overhaul services for both military and civil aircraft. It is also home to two FBOs as well as Greenville Technical College’s aircraft maintenance certification program and dozens of manufacturing operations, such as Michelin.
Designated as a Corporate/Business (SC II) airport, Donaldson Field offers full aviation services and operates primarily for business purposes.
Among all 57 airports operating in South Carolina, Donaldson Field ranks fifth in economic impact. Only the state’s four major commercial aviation airports in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Greenville-Spartanburg, and Columbia have more economic activity due to serving commercial airlines.
Detailed results of the study may be found at SCAC’s website.