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Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Pumps $1.3B into Market Economy in Fiscal 2013

By Eric Jay Toll for Arizona Builder’s Exchange

Mesa and the East Valley are starting to reap some direct benefits from the expansion of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. During the last fiscal year, July 2012 through June 2013, Gateway generated an economic impact of more than $1.3B. The dollars represent a 79 percent increase over 2010—the last year a similar study was prepared for the airport.

The report, prepared by the L. William Seidman Research Institute in the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, says that more than 10K people have jobs associated with Gateway. The study, using FAA-sanctioned methodology, took a look at the comprehensive economic value generated by the airport to come up with the number.

Direct Impact over $767M; Payrolls Double in Three Years

More than half the boost to the economy, $767.1M, is related to direct airport impacts–$373M in on-airport activity and $394M in visitor spending. Another $544M is attributed to indirect economic generation associated with the airport, its vendors and onsite activities. The biggest economic growth came from visitor spending, 433 percent more in 2013 and the $74M in 2010.

The ASU study surveyed businesses and vendors to calculate the direct economic impacts from the airport. The secondary benefits were generated using accepted multipliers for measuring economic values.

Payrolls have nearly doubled since 2010—using 2013 dollars—and the number of employees is up 150 percent over three years ago.

Gateway has Growing Role in Valley

The airport, which is working towards reliever airport status, is intended to take some of the traffic burden over Sky Harbor International Airport. Currently, a trio of airlines provide passenger service along with a host of cargo flights. The airport also supports general aviation. The airport’s importance is backed by nearly $340M in capital projects funded by ADOT over the next four years, more than any other airport in the state. (AZBEX, June 11)

While improvements to its existing passenger terminal are concluding, Gateway initiated a planning effort to realize a $1.5B, 60-gate passenger terminal. (AZBEX, June 22, 2012) The planning services was awarded late last year to CH2MHill.

Phx Mesa Gateway


Note: On-Airport activity includes private firms, public agencies and capital improvement projects; air visitor spending includes commercial airline passengers and general aviation, air taxi and military travelers. Secondary impacts computed from IMPLAN input-output model with Maricopa County coefficients.

Table data: L. William Seidman Research Institute, W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University