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Punta Gorda Airport named third fastest growing airport in U.S., with $1.27 billion economic impact annually

By LIZ HARDAWAY

STAFF WRITER

Between its leisure travelers and flight training, the airport drops a pretty penny back into the local economy.

Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) has a total economic impact of $1.27 billion annually, according to the Florida Department of Transportation’s statewide aviation economic impact study. PGD has become the third-fastest growing airport in the country.

“This is outstanding news and a success story that our entire community can take pride in,” said Pam Seay, chair of the Charlotte County Airport Authority board. “Thank you to our passengers, employees, and public and private partners... who collaborated to make PGD a leading economic engine for Southwest Florida.”

Economic impact directly associated with the airport is valued at $100.5 million, or impact on the airport itself, whereas visitor spending is valued at $572.7 million. The remainder of the total impact amount comes from multiplier impacts, or additional effects that can’t be immediately measurable.

In 2010, the airport’s economic activity was a fraction of what it is today at a total of $141 million, according to FDOT’s study. Direct impacts accounted for $51 million, $28 million from visitor spending and $62 million from multiplier impacts.

PHOTO FROM GREG HILL

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