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Will County airports produce major economic impact, study finds

Three airports in Bolingbrook, Joliet and Romeoville supported the creation of nearly 800 jobs

The Joliet Park District has increased fuel prices at Joliet Regional Airport, where rental rates for hangar space increase Wednesday.

Three airports in Will County accounted for more than $140 million in economic impact and supported the creation of almost 800 jobs, according to a recent study.

The Illinois Department of Transportation conducted the study to assess the economic and social contributions of Illinois airports to the state economy, according to a description of the report that was published earlier this year. The analysis included data collected in 2019, according to the study.

The Illinois Aviation Economic Impact Analysis captured both quantitative economic impacts and community benefits through case studies. The study looked at 85 airports, which included 12 providing commercial service and 73 that are focused only on general aviation.

Commercial service airports accommodate a large assortment of passenger jets. General aviation airports typically offer different sets of facilities that accommodate diverse types of aircraft and wide range of users, according to the report.

Among the airports analyzed were Bolingbrook’s Clow International Airport, the Lewis University Airport in Romeoville and the Joliet Regional Airport. The study examined two main areas, on-airport activity and visitor spending.

The Joliet Regional Airport accounted for $15 million in total economic impact. That included just more than $2 million in direct visitor spending.

The Joliet airport supported the creation of 82 jobs, according to the report.

Bolingbrook’s Clow Airport produced $34 million in economic impact. That included $4.4 million in direct visitor spending.

The Bolingbrook airport supported the creation of 194 jobs, according to the report.

Gary Otto (right) shows Eric Boyce, 11, of Geneva, the cockpit of a SNJ-5 during the 2014 Scout AirFest at Lewis University Airport in Romeoville on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014.

Lewis University Airport in Romeoville accounted for over $92 million in total economic impact. That also included $18.3 million in direct visitor spending.

The Romeoville airport supported the creation of 518 jobs, according to the report.

In total across the state, airports have produced almost half a million full and part-time jobs, over $32 billion in labor income, and over $53 billion in economic productivity.

To learn about the airport impact study, visit ilaviation.com.