Aviation is a money-maker for Monroe and NC

Dec. 10, 2012 @ 04:55 PM

A recent economic impact study showed that the state's 72 publicly-owned airports contribute nearly $26 billion to the state's economy and provides more than 108,000 jobs, representing 6 percent of the state's gross domestic product. 

"The Charlotte-Monroe Executive Airport is a significant economic engine for Monroe and Union County," Chris Platé, Executive Director of Monroe Economic Development and Aviation, said. 

The airport generates between $160,000 and $200,000 in tax revenue for the city of Monroe and about $200,000 to $250,000 for the county in tax receipts. 

There are currently between 90 and 100 aircrafts based at the airport and there is a waiting list for hangar space, Platé said.  Over the summer, the airport saw a lot of activity due to the Democratic National Convention. Platé believes the future of the airport will be just as busy.

Next summer, they will be putting in customs and creating an international element that other general aviation airports in the area do not provide. 

"Aviation and aerospace continue to be an integral part of North Carolina's economic engine," N.C. Department of Transportation's Division of Aviation Director Richard Walls said in a statement. "As our state continues its investment in aviation, aerospace companies continue to invest in North Carolina, with new manufacturing plants and technology."  

The airport in Monroe also plays a role in the aerospace industry, Platé said. 

Seventeen aerospace-related companies are in Union County, providing about 2,700 jobs averaging between $20 and $25 dollars an hour. 

"When you look at how significant aerospace and aviation is to Monroe and Union County, it's pretty staggering," Platé said. "The airport is just the center of that." 

More than $600 million has been invested by aerospace companies. 

"It is significant to us," Platé said. "We hope to continue to see its growth." 

Platé added that their community partnerships with the local school district and community college help to strengthen the industry. 

"It's a full community effort involved in aerospace here," Platé said. He noted that is rare.