News Release



For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
(845) 486-2000

For Immediate Release

February 24, 1999


County Executive Touts Airport Economic Impact Study


Poughkeepsie, NY - Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus touted the Economic Impact Study done for the Dutchess County Airport in the Town of Wappinger. The Hudson Valley Regional Planning Council performed the study under contract with the New York State Department of Transportation  (NYSDOT), which received a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to complete the study.

"This study is very exciting news for the airport and the economic infrastructure of Dutchess County," said County Executive Steinhaus. "It clearly demonstrates the economic vitality of the airport as a key economic development asset."

The survey indicates that more than 857 full-time equivalent jobs in Dutchess County are attributable to the airport, with 134 jobs on the site. Paid income resulting from the airport is almost $21.8 million. The total economic impact of the airport is projected at $51,666,813 for 1998. The economic impact of the Dutchess County Airport includes the payroll, operating expenses and capital investments of aviation dependent businesses both at the airport and off the airport property. Also, visitors that use the airport spend $18.5 million on food, lodging and related expenditures.

"These initial transactions are followed by additional rounds of spending throughout other industries," said Steinhaus. "For example, a plane mechanic will spend his or her salary to purchase groceries or household items. This money will then be respent by the grocery store clerk at another business. This process of dollar flow throughout the local economy represents the 'multiplier' effect."

"The strength of this report actually destroys the argument by a handful of people that have argued the county airport budget costs are a 'drain' on the county," Steinhaus stated. "Clearly, the multimillion dollar economic impact far exceeds the cost in the county budget to operate the facility."

The study also states that the airport plays a vital role in enhancing the attractiveness of the county as a site for corporate expansion and relocation. The airport is an important component of corporate travel. This role has only escalated in recent years with the advent of increased globalization of business and the integration of advanced telecommunications which has reduced the need for many businesses to be located in major cities.

"In 1993 this office prepared an earlier study in conjunction with the Airport Review Committee," Steinhaus said. "Back then it was my belief that we could turn the airport into an economic asset what would help diversify our economy in the wake of the IBM downsizing."

"Dutchess County Airport was chosety for the study because of the changing nature of its role due to Stewart Airport," said Rick Chimera of the NYS Department of Transportation's Aviation Division. "We feel it is vital for communities to understand the economic importance of these small airports."

Today there are approximately 16 commercial and more than 415 corporate and light aviation flights on a daily basis. Companies such as Associated Aircraft Group, National Textile Corporation, Richmor Aviation, Aero Mechanical and Precision Avionics have become residents at the airport. In 1997 the estimated number of general aviation passengers was 173,628. "We are hopeful we can have more news of expansions coming from the airport in the future," said Steinhaus. "I believe that the airport has not yet met its full economic potential and the county will continue to support those efforts which will bring us that positive benefit."



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