St. Louis Airport Generates $3.6 Billion Economic Impact to Region

Lambert is the 30th busiest airport in the U.S. based on total passengers and the 48th largest airport in air cargo volume. Lambert served 12.7 million passengers and handled 153 million pounds of cargo in CY 2012.


(St. Louis) Lambert-St. Louis International Airport generates approximately $3.6 billion in annual business revenues for the 16-county St. Louis, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) based on a new Economic Impact Study just released. The St. Louis MSA is the 19th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. Lambert is the 30th busiest airport in the U.S. based on total passengers and the 48th largest airport in air cargo volume. Lambert served 12.7 million passengers and handled 153 million pounds of cargo in CY 2012.

The Airport’s self-funded Economic Impact Study, the first in more than a decade, found that Airport services are directly responsible for 4,600 on-Airport jobs, earning $273 million annually. The overall impact of the Airport and the businesses sustained by Lambert’s economic output equals 25,000 jobs with collective earnings of $1 billion.

The Airport creates direct economic output of $1.8 billion, another $0.8 billion in indirect impact from business purchases as well as $1 billion in induced impact from employee household spending in the region.

Airport services account for two-thirds of the Airport’s direct economic impact of $1.8 billion. Visitor spending and capital improvements account for roughly one-third of direct output. Examples of direct impact for Lambert include revenues generated by passengers buying airline tickets, companies shipping goods, customers parking at the Airport, or travelers staying at hotels, eating at restaurants, and buying gifts. 

The Airport is a significant economic engine for various industries in the St. Louis region. The transportation and warehousing sectors account for 32 percent of the Airport’s regional economic impact. Manufacturing accounts for a 12 percent share, and the real estate and rental & leasing sector accounts for a 10 percent share.

The study, by Unison Consulting, used economic multipliers for the St. Louis MSA from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis Regional Input-Output Modeling System (RIMS II).

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is owned by the City of St. Louis.

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