Iowa City Airport brings in nearly $24 million in economic activity

Iowa City Municipal Airport has 114% more economic impact than in 2009. CREDIT CITY OF IOWA CITY
Iowa City Municipal Airport has 114% more economic impact than in 2009. CREDIT CITY OF IOWA CITY

According to a 2022 Iowa Aviation Economic Report, Iowa City Municipal Airport (IOW) brings in $24 million annually in total economic activity, supports 74 airport jobs, and serves 18,700 visitors annually.

Statewide, airports in Iowa generate $6.4 billion in economic impact, support 41,000 jobs and generate $124 million in tax revenue each year, according to a news release.

“The aerospace industry provides important services and generates significant economic impact in Iowa,” said Tim McClung, Iowa’s DOT Aviation Director, in the report.

Annual economic activity is calculated by adding annual payroll to annual expenses. The total nationwide economic impact is determined by taking annual economic activity and feeding the data into a statistical model called IMPLAN to estimate the multiplier impact. The economic impacts in the IMPLAN model include both direct and indirect impacts.

IOW is less than two miles from downtown Iowa City. According to a year-long sample of FAA flight records of submitted flight plans in 2019, IOW has operated over 3,700 flights to and from over 550 unique markets in 44 states and multiple countries, the technical report said.

Jet Air, the airport’s permanent base operator, provides medical patient and organ transplant flight services at the Iowa City airport. The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) uses a research and flight test facility called the Operator Performance Laboratory for technological innovation.

UIHC also operates an Iowa City-based air ambulance facility used for emergency medical response and patient transport activities. In addition to the Waterloo and Dubuque sites, the total economic impact of air ambulances in the state totals $449 million, according to the report’s summary. UIHC AirCare employs a team consisting of critical care nurses, flight paramedics, pediatric respiratory therapists, pilots and mechanics.

More than 5 million acres of farmland are sprayed by airplanes annually. It is estimated that
Agricultural aviation contributes $373 million to the state’s economy each year due to increased crop productivity.

More than 93,000 tons of cargo are shipped by air through Des Moines and Cedar Rapids annually.

Eastern Iowa Airport employs 586 direct airport jobs, has a payroll of more than $129 million and total economic activity of $321 million.