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Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority releases study showing impact of programs on local economy

Published: November 17, 2010

Airports Alone, Generated $1.3 Billion in State and Local Tax Revenue in 2009



A study conducted by the Louis Berger Group, Inc. for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority examined the employment, business and tax impacts of the programs managed by the Airports Authority for the region’s airports, the Dulles Toll Road and the construction of the Dulles Metrorail Project.
In 2009, Ronald Reagan Washington National and Washington Dulles International Airports together generated over $1.3 billion for the local economy in combined state and local tax revenue, not including $618 million in federal aviation-specific taxes. These taxes were generated through: direct expenditures on airport capital improvements and operations; the operations of the airlines and other airport tenants; visitor spending; and the activity of airport-dependent exporters.

In 2009, the two airports employed 25,269 people on site. It is estimated that over 312,000 additional people have jobs associated with businesses related to the airports such as tourism and shipping.

Said Lynn Hampton, President and CEO of the Airports Authority, "Washington's airports are major contributors to our local economy as well as connecting our region to the world and enabling us to travel conveniently for business and leisure. In addition to air service, the Airports Authority also contributes to employment and the regional tax base through our operation of the Dulles Toll Road and the construction of Metrorail through the Dulles Corridor.”

In 2009, the Dulles Toll Road generated nearly 500 jobs and $32.1 million in labor income while Metrorail construction generated nearly 1,500 jobs and almost $96 million in labor income for the Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The survey compiled data for 2009 when nearly 41 million passengers used Reagan National and Dulles International Airports and over 108 million transactions were made on the Toll Road.

The economic impact of these two aviation facilities was examined in four categories: airport operations; capital construction projects; airport-dependent industries and visitor industry impacts.

The Airports Authority spent a total of $134.8 million for operating and maintenance activities. Airport-related capital program expenditures totaled $312.8 million. Producers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia shipped an estimated $5.2 billion worth of locally produced goods through Dulles International and Reagan National. And the visitor industry estimates show that the 12.2 million visitors who arrived at the two airports spent $10.6 billion during their stay.

The Dulles Toll Road, which is now operated by the Airports Authority, had an estimated $1.3 million payroll with capital expenditures on the facility totaling $2.6 million and operation and maintenance expenditures totaling $14.9 million. Toll Road related taxes paid in 2009 included personal income, sales and corporate amounted to $2.2 million.

The Airports Authority is in charge of building the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project which is producing a significant economic impact in the construction phase.  In 2009, the Airports Authority spent $362.9 million on construction of the project which employed nearly 500 workers.  State and local taxes associated with the project in 2009 amounted to $14.4 million.

The 2009 Economic Impact Study may be viewed at www.mwaa.com or by clicking this link.