Economic Impact Study Shows Dramatic Growth in Aviation Sector

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Area business leaders and city officials gathered at the Lake Superior College Advanced Aviation Center on August 16, 2017, were impressed with the results of a 2017 Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) economic impact study. While the regional economy is diversified, the aviation sector continues to grow and expand, providing an excellent source of living-wage jobs in the APEX region.

Compared to a study conducted in 2007, the regional aviation sector has increased by 39%. Currently, aviation adds $646 million to the regional economy and directly supports nearly 3,500 jobs. Today, aviation jobs are in high demand. AAR is currently seeking nearly 50 mechanics and Cirrus Aircraft will be adding hundreds of employees in the near future. With events and outreach targeted toward high school students, Northern Aero Alliance (NAA) is introducing the next generation of workers to the aviation industry.

Brian Hanson, APEX President and CEO, provided remarks at the event, discussing our region’s holistic approach to aviation. “In addition to a world-class airport facility, our region offers manufacturing, maintenance, services, transportation and cargo opportunities for the aviation industry,” stated Hanson. “The region’s solid foundation is attractive to businesses that require aviation-related infrastructure.” 

Additional speakers at the press event included:

  • Emily Larson, Duluth Mayor
  • Sue Boudrie, NAA Chair and Operations Manager with IKONICS
  • Bill King with Cirrus Aircraft
  • Mark Ketterer with AAR
  • Dr. Patrick Johns with Lake Superior College
  • Tom Werner with the Duluth International Airport

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