Worcester Regional Airport projected to pump $369 Million into regional economy over 10 years
WORCESTER – A report released by the Massachusetts Port Authority predicts Worcester Regional Airport will generate $369 million of economic activity over the next ten years. Massport commissioned Frasca & Associates, L.L.C. to assess the ten year economic impacts anticipated from new airline service by Jetblue Airways and Massport’s current and future investments in the airport. The study examined the direct and induced aviation-related economic impacts these activities will have to the Central Massachusetts regional economy.
“Reliable, affordable transportation options are key to supporting a vibrant economy,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. “Worcester Airport is a convenient option for residents and business travelers, and as demonstrated by this report, is an economic engine for the region.”
The report projects the airport could potentially serve seven daily nonstop flights after 10 years of service by Jetblue with four daily flights with E-190 aircraft and three daily flights with Airbus A-320 aircraft. Given this level of flight activity, it is estimated that Worcester Airport could potentially serve 500,000 annual passengers by 2023.
“The energy, enthusiasm and strong ticket sales for Jetblue service reflects the positive economic value the airport is already having on the Central Massachusetts economy,” said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn. “As the economic impact of this transportation asset grows to its potential it will complement the already existing Information Technology, Healthcare, Biotech, Insurance, Transportation, Educational Institutions and small business owners in the region.”
Among the study findings: approximately $172 million in total economic output resulting from new visitors coming to the Worcester area as a result of Jetblue service along with nearly 187 new jobs and $61.5 million in payroll impacts; $30 million in local spending such as car rentals, lodging, food and retail purchases with 26 new jobs and $12 million in payroll; and $86 million in capital spending that Massport is investing in Worcester Airport which is estimated to contribute about $167 million of total economic input and 125 construction jobs with an estimated $70 million payroll over ten years.
“The report confirms the economic benefits for our local retail stores, hotels, restaurants and tourism destinations as a result of new passenger service at Worcester Airport,” said Andrew Davis, Worcester Airport Director. “Not only will Central Massachusetts benefit from new spending, the construction industry benefits as a result of airport improvements initiated by Massport.”
In addition to the $86 million of capital expenditures, Massport is projected to contribute approximately $40 million of net operating investment in managing the airport through 2023, resulting in total investments of $126 million at Worcester Airport. Worcester Airport’s total economic input of $369 million is estimated to exceed Massport’s total capital investments and operating costs by nearly three to one. As a result, commercial service at Worcester is expected to contribute greatly to the local economy, at a level that is expected to greatly exceed Massport’s total capital and operating investments.
Frasca & Associates is a New York financial consulting firm with expertise in assisting airports in strategic business planning, implementation of capital development programs, and developing public/private partnerships.
To view the report Worcester Regional Airport: Economic Impacts of New Air Service visit www.flyworcester.com.
At its peak in 1989, Worcester airport served more than 340,000 people and between 2009 and 2012, 250,000 people chose Worcester Airport. Worcester Regional Airport serves Worcester County, the second fastest growing county in Massachusetts, along with the Boston Metro West region and the bustling Interstate 495 corridor.
The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) owns and operates Boston Logan International Airport, public terminals in the Port of Boston, Hanscom Field and Worcester Regional Airport. Massport is a financially self-sustaining public authority whose premier transportation facilities generate more than $8 billion annually, and enhance and enable economic growth and vitality in New England. No state tax dollars are used to fund operations or capital improvements at Massport facilities. For more information please visit massport.com.