ROCHESTER, Minn. - Rochester International Airport is contributing significantly to statewide and local economies.
That's according to a Minnesota Department of Transportation Airport Economic Impact Study.
The study shows nearly 116,000 visitors passed through the airport last year, which is nearly the population of Rochester.
Those visitors helped contribute to around $127 million in spending the airport generated.
RST Executive Director John Reed said, "The last time we did one of these was in 2007 which was really in the beginning of the economic recession. This validates really what we thought which is we continue to grow economically here in the community and it's good to see that."
The study also shows RST contributes to $190 million annually to the local economy and supports more than 1,600 jobs. Reed says it shows the airport is a strong economic cornerstone allowing the movement of people and commerce in and out of the community.
He added, "Transportation as a whole is one of those cornerstones of economic vitality and economic growth."
However for travelers, like Joan and Greg Queen, what matters most is how RST operates every day.
"Quick and easy," said Joan. Greg added, "This is why we come here. We go to the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport and you wait in line, you have to park your car. This you walk up, you walk in. It's very convenient."
MnDOT commissioned the study last year to measure the annual economic impact of 126 of Minnesota's public airports.
For more information, you can click here to view the full MnDOT statewide airport study.