Economic Impact

Charlotte Douglas International Airport contributed $32 billion to the state’s economy in 2021, according to a North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Division of Aviation report. That’s a jump from $24.6 billion based on 2019 numbers. It also amounts to 5% of the state’s gross domestic product.

Other data reveals CLT created $1.82 billion in tax revenue, supported 151,575 jobs and generated $9.9 billion in personal income.

“These numbers are a reflection of our thriving region and the millions of passengers who choose to fly out of CLT every year,” said CLT’s CEO Haley Gentry. “The Airport values its role as a top economic driver in North Carolina and plans to continue making future investments which positively impact the quality of life for our customers and employees.”

The report, “North Carolina: The State of Aviation,” contains data compiled and analyzed for NCDOT by North Carolina State University’s Institute for Transportation Research and Education. Impacts are calculated on such factors as jobs supported by the airports and the businesses that rely on them, business and leisure travelers, and airport capital projects and operations. NCDOT creates the report every two years to help guide future investment in aviation infrastructure and provide a tool for recruiting aviation and aerospace industry companies and investment.

Overall, North Carolina’s 10 commercial service and 62 general aviation airports produced more than $72 billion in economic output, approximately 330,000 jobs, $23 billion in personal income and $3.7 billion in tax revenue to the state’s economy.

CLT alone comprised 44 percent of the state’s economic output, 49 percent of tax revenue, 46 percent of airport jobs and 43 percent of personal income related to North Carolina’s 72 airports.

“We have bounced back from the COVID-19 pandemic quicker than many airports nationwide thanks to the strength of the hub,” Gentry said. “Air service levels and, subsequently, passenger numbers continue to rise. The benefits of strong air service positively impact our entire community through job creation, attracting new companies to the region and providing more than 180 nonstop destinations for business and leisure travel.”

Charlotte Douglas is the second largest hub for American Airlines, the world’s largest airline. In 2022, CLT welcomed more than 48 million passengers, nearing 2019’s record-breaking year of 50 million passengers. Airports Council International (ACI) ranks CLT among the world’s busiest airports for arrivals, departures and passenger traffic. Rankings are typically updated each spring.

Review the NCDOT’s press release and the report, “North Carolina: The State of Aviation.”

Other Links

Watch video

Fact Sheet – State of Aviation in North Carolina

Economic Impact of CLT

NCDOT Division of Aviation

CLT press release