​Economic Development

Economic Impact

Charlotte Douglas International Airport leads the state as the top economic engine among N.C. airports, according to a report by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Division of Aviation.

The report, North Carolina: The State of Aviation, shows CLT contributes $23 billion in annual economic output, $1.1 billion in state/local taxes, 132,330 jobs for N.C. residents and $5.7 billion in personal income.

Overall North Carolina's 10 commercial service and 62 general aviation airports generate more than $52 billion in economic output, approximately 307,000 jobs, $12.6 billion in personal income and $2.2 billion in state and local tax revenues to the state's economy.

These numbers reveal CLT makes up 44 percent of the state's economic output, 53 percent of state/local taxes, 43 percent of jobs and 46 percent of personal income related to North Carolina airports.

Data for the NCDOT report was compiled and analyzed by N.C. State University's Institute for Transportation Research and Education using 2017 figures from airports and the latest information on the state's aviation assets available from public and private sources.

Charlotte Douglas is the second largest hub for American Airlines, the world's largest airline. In 2017, CLT welcomed nearly 46 million passengers. Numbers for 2018 are expected in March. Nationwide CLT ranks sixth in operations and tenth in passenger traffic.

Click here to read the full report.

Economic Impacts of N.C. Airports ​ ​ ​ ​

Annual Airport ImpactsJobsPersonal IncomeState and Local TaxesEconomic Output
Commercial Service Airports281,945$11,306,100,000 $1,989,600,000 $47,428,600,000
General Aviation Airports25,040$1,288,100,000 $176,738,000 $4,956,030,000
Total Airport Impacts306,985$12,594,200,000 $2,166,338,000 $52,384,630,000
Source: North Carolina: The State of Aviation - N.C. Department of Transportation's Division of Aviation ​ ​ ​ ​


N.C. Commercial Service Airport Impacts ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

AirportsCity/TownJobsPersonal IncomeState and Local TaxesEconomic Output
Albert J. Ellis (OAJ)Jacksonville2,785$95,800,000 $15,300,000 $474,200,000
Asheville Regional (AVL)Asheville8,915$316,800,000 $48,400,000 $1,482,900,000
Charlotte Douglas International (CLT)Charlotte132,330$5,744,500,000 $1,139,700,000 $23,029,200,000
Coastal Carolina Regional (EWN)New Bern2,125$72,000,000 $12,000,000 $362,700,000
Fayetteville Regional/Grannis Field (FAY)Fayetteville4,410$164,800,000 $27,100,000 $784,200,000
Concord Regional (JQF)Concord4,505$191,100,000 $30,300,000 $821,400,000
Piedmont Triad International (GSO)Greensboro25,500$1,237,600,000 $190,300,000 $5,861,500,000
Pitt-Greenville (PGV)Greenville1,650$59,600,000 $8,800,000 $280,700,000
Raleigh-Durham International (RDU)Raleigh/Durham86,765$2,968,200,000 $450,900,000 $12,579,800,000
Wilmington International (ILM)Wilmington12,960$455,700,000 $66,800,000 $1,752,000,000
Commercial Service Airports Total 281,945$11,306,100,000 $1,989,600,000 $47,428,600,000
Source: North Carolina: The State of Aviation - N.C. Department of Transportation's Division of Aviation


Airport Area Strategic Development Plan

In October 2015, the City of Charlotte Aviation Department commissioned consultancy MXD Development Strategists Ltd. (MXD) to identify, define, and assess a Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) "Airport Area Strategic Development Plan" (AASDP) that will facilitate private sector commercial development of Airport owned properties. This "Airport Commercial Development Strategy" (ACDS) guides implementation of the economic positioning, land use strategy, and transportation and mobility framework defined in the CLT AASDP.  

Primary Objectives: 

The foundation for the CLT AASDP lies in its strategic Economic Positioning to embrace Target Economic Sectors and facilitate Airport Connected Development. To ensure that it advances the Aviation Department Vision and mission, the CLT AASDP has three primary objectives:

  • Self-Sustaining:  it should generate non-aeronautical revenue that helps fulfill FAA requirements for airport financial self-sufficiency.
  • Land Re-Use:  it should put vacant and underutilized Airport property into productive use.
  • Compatibility:  it should ensure that future development around the airport is appropriate for an airport environment and does not negatively impact aviation.

CLT Airport Development Map  

The CLT AASDP Study Area encompasses property under the management of the Airport and will consider interfaces with adjacent properties, businesses and the community.  

Previous AASDP Study events:

  • Neighbors Information Update - January 14, 2016

Man at podium addressing crowd at a AASDP event Man at podium addressing crowd at a AASDP eventMan at podium addressing crowd at a AASDP eventMan at podium addressing crowd at a AASDP event


Study Timeline

 Study Timeline

Study Findings

Complementary & Compatible Economic Activity

CLT AASDP Study Area  

Development Districts & Recommended Land Uses

CLT AASDP Molecular Diagram 


CLT is moving forward with implementing the AASDP's recommendations. Read more in the Project AMP (Area Master Plan) brochure.

The latest edition of Neighborhood Update

CLT Airport Commercial Development Strategy

For additional information on the Airport Area Strategic Development Plan, contact Stuart Hair at sphair@cltairport.com.