State Study Shows Economic Importance of Local Airports

HYANNIS – A statewide Airport Economic Impact Study released by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation shows the importance Cape Cod and Island airports have on the region’s economy.

The MassDOT study details how the state’s 39 public-use airports generate economic activity and supported more than 199,000 jobs with a payroll over about $7.2 billion in 2017.

Since the most recent study completed in 2014, there has been an increase of about 37,000 jobs, $1.1 billion in payroll, and $8.1 billion in economic output.

Despite a decline in economic impact from when the study was last completed in 2014, Barnstable Municipal Airport still employed more than 1,700 workers with salaries of $73.7 million, and contributed over $157 million to the economy in 2017.

“Regardless of the fact that it has gone down, it is still a boon to the economy that we have that capability here to serve the Cape and the Islands,” said Katie Servis, the airport manager.

Servis said the airport is working to make modifications to increase those numbers back to where they were in 2014.

“It takes some time,” Servis said. “We have lost some of our airline traffic that we had here at the airport, and, of course, when you lose some airline activity at the airport those employment numbers do go down as well.”

Island Airlines and Cape and Islands Air Freight ceased operations in December 2015, contributing to the lower employment and economic impact.

Servis said a business plan has been developed to identify areas where traffic has been lost and what areas to focus on in the future to bring that activity back.

“We have been working with our existing airlines, working with Rectrix Shuttle, Cape Air and our seasonal service with JetBlue to increase the activity here at this airport,” Servis said.

The commuter airlines have also lost activity due to a pilot shortage for that type of service.

“Cape Air and Rectrix have been building that up so I am hoping for a change here in the near future,” Service said.

Servis and the assistant airport manager will be attending a Jump Start event, which allows airport personnel to meet with several different airlines.

“We have about five that we are going to meet with and we have the opportunity to pitch the airport and talk about why Hyannis is important and why we should be looked at as a regional hub airport,” Servis said.

Nantucket Memorial Airport had an economic impact of over $323 million in 2017 and supported more than 3,200 jobs. Martha’s Vineyard Airport contributed more than $140.5 million to the economy and supported 1,401 workers.

Provincetown Municipal Airport supported 390 jobs with salaries totaling nearly $14 million. The airport also had a total output of $34.8 million.

For the complete report, which includes numbers for local general aviation airports, visit

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