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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 16, 2013

Gateway Airport Generates Record $1.3 Billion Economic Impact
Supports over 10,000 jobs in regional economy

Mesa, Ariz. – The Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport generates $1,311,232,000 in economic benefits and supports 10,470 jobs in the region. That’s according to a new study from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, which looks at how the airport contributes to the local economy. A previous study was conducted in Fiscal Year 2010.

Research Professor Dr. Lee McPheters, who headed up the study on behalf of the L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W. P. Carey School of Business describes how the airport truly benefits not only the rapidly growing East Valley area, but also Maricopa and Pinal counties overall. Here are some specific details:

•           2,042 jobs are at the airport.
•           Over 60% of the Airport’s 1.4 million total passengers were visitors in fiscal year 2013.
•           Air visitors spent $394 million off of the airport in the fiscal year, supporting 4,383 jobs.

“Gateway Airport has grown from being an East Valley economic engine to an asset for the entire state of Arizona,” City of Mesa Mayor and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority Director Scott Smith said. “Visitor spending from travelers arriving at Gateway Airport is up by more than 433 percent from just three years ago. These air visitors alone spent $394 million last year, and that created more than 4,000 jobs.”

The study examined the direct spending from both on-airport activity and air visitors’ activity off the airport in fiscal year 2013. That summed up to $767 million. When added together with the successive rounds of re-spending that money, the total came out to $1.3 billion for the fiscal year.

"Once again Gateway Airport has proven what a powerhouse it is in terms of economic impact on our region,” said Town of Queen Creek Mayor and Airport Authority Vice Chairman Gail Barney. “Our area was greatly impacted by the Great Recession, and yet we saw an increase of 79% in economic activity surrounding the airport and a 150% increase in employment numbers for businesses in that area. That's impressive. It also shows how much productivity is generated by the airport and its effect on the surrounding communities.”

The study also revealed that 60 percent of the total enplaned passengers at Gateway were visitors to Arizona, more than double those recorded in Fiscal Year 2010.

“A doubling of visitors is significant to all of Arizona because it means new money is coming into our state,” said Airport Authority Executive Director Jane Morris. “That’s a doubling of people renting cars, staying in hotels, golfing, and dining. The new money ultimately transfers over to new jobs being created.” 

About Gateway Airport
The Airport Authority was established in 1994 and is owned and operated by the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority, which consists of Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Gila River Indian Community, Phoenix, and Apache Junction. Gateway Airport offers nonstop passenger service to over 35 cities via Allegiant and has 1,000 acres of undeveloped land available for future job growth in the East Valley. For more information, visit


Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Media Contact:
Brian Sexton
Phone: 480-988-7618