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Dynamic Learning Community : Eller MBAs Find Economic Impact of Tucson International Airport Tops $3.2 Billion

June 2012

By Liz Warren-Pederson

A new study conducted by Eller MBA students shows Tucson International Airport brings an annual economic impact of more than $3.2 billion to the region.

The study was commissioned by the Tucson Airport Authority and managed through the Eller MBA experiential learning program.

“We knew that the airport had a significant impact on Pima County, but none of us guessed how large the impact would ultimately be,” said Catherine Weigand, Eller MBA ‘13. “We were excited to share the results with the community.”

The airport’s direct, indirect, and induced economic effects are included in the $3.2 billion total. Direct impact is generated by employment and operation of the airport and tenant businesses. The Eller MBA team calculated a total annual direct impact of $1.7 billion stemming from payroll, goods and services purchased by the airport and airport businesses, expenditures on capital improvement projects, and payment of local taxes from airport activity. The remaining $1.5 billion is attributed to indirect and induced impacts.

“We worked with two excellent sponsors, Mary Davis and Alex Kovach, but involvement did not stop with them,” Weigand said. “My team worked closely with the CFO and other staff members to conduct surveys and collect data from the tenants. It was great to work with a client who was excited about advancing our education and the deliverable that was attached to the project.”

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