Why CLT Matters to You – Even if You Don’t Fly

June 8, 2023 - CLT’s stature as an employment center and a top economic driver in the region is significant. The numbers cited by the most recent North Carolina State of Aviation report are impressive.

So why should this matter to you?

Economic Vitality

CLT’s contribution of $32 billion to the state's economy in 2021, an increase from previous years, indicates significant economic growth and stability. This means businesses are thriving, job opportunities are increasing, and the overall economic environment is favorable. As a result, it has a positive impact on the average person by creating a stronger and more prosperous economy in which they can live, work, and thrive.

As examples: North Carolina’s public airports lease space to more than 3,300 private aircraft that generate more than $11.6 million in property tax revenues for their communities each year. The owner of a $23 million aircraft based at a North Carolina airport pays local property taxes equivalent to those paid by owners of 115 homes valued at $200,000 each.

That brings us to …

Jobs, jobs, jobs

The Airport and its supporting businesses along with those associated with construction are providing employment opportunities for a diverse range of professions and careers. This not only helps individuals find meaningful work, but also contributes to a thriving job market and offers stability to the workforce.

More job opportunities mean better chances for career advancement, increased income and improved financial security for individuals and families in North Carolina. An example: 800 construction-related jobs are associated with the Airport’s Destination CLT program, the $3.1 billion capital investment and infrastructure improvement project under way. Another 20,000 or so people work at the Airport, its businesses, partners and stakeholders. It is a small city.  

Tax Revenue and Public Services

The $1.82 billion in tax revenue generated by CLT in 2021 plays a crucial role in funding public services, infrastructure development and essential government initiatives.  It is revenue that directly benefits the citizens of North Carolina by improving public services and enhancing their quality of life.

The Airport is owned and operated by the City of Charlotte; however, it is does not collect public tax dollars. An enterprise fund of the city, the Airport is self-sustaining. Airport revenue funds all capital and operating costs per directives from the Federal Aviation Administration, which requires all airports to be financially self-sufficient.

CLT also is strategically expanding its business beyond aviation to diversify its financial portfolio and increase its non-aeronautical revenue. Non-aeronautical revenue is generated from commercial enterprises, such as concessions, duty free, parking, advertising, car rental facilities and real estate income.

Personal Income

The earnings infusion of $9.9 billion in personal income increases the purchasing power of residents, enabling them to support local businesses and contribute to economic growth within their communities. Personal income allows people to improve their standard of living, meet their financial needs, and potentially invest in education, healthcare and other essential aspects of life.

Consider this…

Would the Queen City be headquarters to 475 companies and corporations, including major banking and tech giants, without the connectivity to the world that an airport provides?

Without the connectivity CLT provides, would Charlotte be home to a bustling professional and minor league sports scene – from basketball, football and soccer to baseball and hockey? Don’t forget about NASCAR.

Many companies have stated the airport and the ability to connect to anywhere in the world was a primary reason to headquarter here - reinforcing that CLT is growing, providing connections and opportunities for people, goods and services around the world.

Why does this matter? The Airport has a direct impact on your economic well-being whether you travel or not. CLT helps foster a robust economy, creates career and job opportunities and personal income that contributes to quality of life for everyone who lives here.