ROCHESTER, Minn.-Thousands of people visit Rochester each year. For many, their first step into the Med City is through the doors at the Rochester International Airport.
We're learning how the airport is playing a major role in the local economy. A 2009 economic impact study shows that thousands of jobs are supported by the airport.
“It's a critical piece of infrastructure here in Southeast Minnesota,” said RST Executive Director John Seed.
The Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce held a community discussion to see how the airport impacts business and the local economy.
In the last two years, RST has seen a 50% increase in passengers. The airport flies millions of pounds in cargo, leading the local airport to be one of the busiest airports in the state.
The airport is also good for businesses, Dharani Ramamoorthy owns a tech company and says it's the convenience that's helping his business thrive.
“By being a small airport it's always easy to come and check in an hour ago instead of going to Minneapolis airport and having to be there two hours earlier. I myself have traveled many times out of Rochester airport and get here an hour before and still made connections very easily,”He said.
The airport will do another economic impact study in 2020.