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Summary of Economic Impact of General Aviation in Pennsylvania

Denotes general aviation airports.
Denotes general aviation heliports.

According to Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, general aviation airports annually contribute over $1.31 billion to the state’s economy.


Pennsylvania has 131 public use airports, 116 of which are general aviation airports, serving 17,049 pilots and 6,012 general aviation aircraft. More than 602,500 visitors arrive to Pennsylvania on general aviation aircraft during the study period for the state’s 2010 Department of Transportation study.


According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, aviation in Pennsylvania supports 288,700 jobs, or five percent of all jobs in the state. General aviation airports support over 7,000 of those jobs.


According to a 2010 Pennsylvania Department of Transportation study, general aviation airports annually contribute over $1.31 billion to the state’s economy. The State of Pennsylvania’s Statewide Aviation System Plan estimated the total economic contribution of the aviation industry to be more than $23.6 billion annually.

Twenty-five of Pennsylvania’s public-use airports have based air ambulances or businesses involved with air ambulance services. Data collected by the Department of Transportation indicates that over 900 jobs are associated with the air ambulance sector, with an annual impact of nearly $194 million.

Across the state, 54% of businesses that responded to a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation questionnaire reported that the existence of a general aviation airport was important to their business.

Pennsylvania is home to 67 charter flight companies, 94 repair stations, and 15 flight schools, which collectively operate 110 aircraft and support 169 jobs. There are 76 fixed-based operators in the state. Members of the University Aviation Association include County Community College of Beaver County in Beaver Falls, PA and Lehigh Carbon Community College in Allentown, PA.

Additionally, piston engine manufacturer Lycoming is located in Williamsport, PA.


A recent economic impact survey commissioned by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation found that the aviation industry is creating jobs and generating significant revenue for local communities. PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch stated that, “This study proves that investments we're making in aviation in Pennsylvania are paying dividends for Pennsylvanians. Airport access stimulates businesses, supports five percent of the state's workforce and provides transportation options." (“New Study Highlights Aviation Industry’s Economic Impact Benefit," NORTHCENTRALPA.COM. November 3, 2011)


To view a complete copy of the state's Economic Impact of Aviation study, visit the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Bureau of Aviation site.

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Local Spotlight

Volunteer Pilots Association

Like many general aviation charity groups, members of the Volunteer Pilots Association provide air transportation for those in need of medical treatment. In addition to flying patients, the group, based in Bridgeville, PA, also transports donor organs.


Micro Tool Company

Micro Tool Company is a manufacturer specializing in computer numerical-controlled (CNC) machining, robotic equipment, and high tech fabrication. The company relies on its Cessna 210 to travel from Bethlehem, PA to customers and vendors.


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