Feb. 17, 2021

The Wyoming Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics recently unveiled its latest Wyoming Aviation Economic Impact Study, demonstrating the significant role aviation plays in the state’s economy.

The aviation industry contributes 5% of the state’s overall economy, equating to $2 billion in annual economic contribution in direct, indirect and induced impacts. Aviation is responsible for 9.5% of employment in the state with $942 million in annual payroll.

Aviation is also a significant tax generator, contributing $87 million in state and local tax revenue.

Wyoming’s 25 general aviation airports support business travel, cargo operations, aerial spraying, air medical operations and aerial firefighting activities. The study highlighted several of these activities in case studies, including a summary of how aerial firefighting and air medical operations support local communities. Aerial applicators are a key to supporting agriculture, one of Wyoming’s top three industries.

More than 200,000 annual general aviation visitors arrive in approximately 45,500 general aviation aircraft. Spending for general aviation visitors ranges from $76 to $896 per visitor per trip, but 41% of all general aviation visitors spend only one day in the state, likely indicating these visitors are in Wyoming to conduct business.

The role business aviation plays in the state was highlighted in the report, which cited an article in NBAA’s Business Aviation Insider magazine about Laramie-based Premier Bone & Joint Centers. With seven orthopedic and musculoskeletal specialists, four pilots, four King Air C90As, and 10 vans and cars positioned across the state, the doctors make the rounds to local clinics. Nurses and support staff frequently travel with the doctors. This operating model makes it possible to serve many rural communities in Wyoming and to keep patients close to home for surgery, recovery, and follow-up.

Read the full Business Aviation Insider article.

At a recent press conference, cohosted by the WYDOT Aeronautics and the Wyoming Airports Coalition, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon called aviation a “silent partner,” allowing the state to compete for business and thrive in tourism and agriculture. Gordon explained aviation allows businesses to attract new employees and spurs new economic development for the state.

“Aviation is critical in the state of Wyoming, not only as an important connection to the rest of the country but for aviation’s unique contributions to the agricultural industry and its ability to serve communities through air medical and wildfire fighting services,” said Kristi Ivey, NBAA’s northern mountain regional representative. “This study and others like it quantify those contributions into meaningful economic data, which helps guide stakeholders, legislators and policymakers in ensuring the aviation’s industry continued success and contributions to the state’s overall economy.”

Review the Wyoming study.