New study shows Rochester International Airport contributes $190 million annually to local economy

The study shows that public airports like Rochester International Airport (RST) are significant contributors to statewide and local economies.

Mildred Brewer, of Charlotte, N.C., and her daughter, Dr. LaPrincess Brewer, of Rochester, wait for their luggage after arriving at Rochester International Airport on Monday, July 30, 2018.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation recently released the Minnesota Statewide Airport Economic Impact Study. The study shows that public airports like Rochester International Airport (RST) are significant contributors to statewide and local economies.

"We are excited to share the study results demonstrating Rochester International Airport’s substantial economic benefits to our region," said John Reed, executive director, in a press release. "RST is a strong economic cornerstone allowing the movement of people and commerce in and out of our community."

Other findings of the study show RST has the following economic contributions: 

  • Generates $190 million in annual economic activity
  • Supports more than 1,600 jobs and more than $63 million in annual payroll
  • Generates $127 million in annual spending and $9.2 million in state and local tax revenue
  • Supports air ambulances essential to medical services
  • Provides essential infrastructure needed for air cargo and connecting regional companies to national and international markets or suppliers
  • Provides economic efficiencies that bring competitive advantages that help businesses create jobs that support the regional economy

The study was commissioned by MnDOT in 2019 to measure the annual economic impact provided by 126 of Minnesota’s 133 public airports, most of them located in Greater Minnesota. The 2019 MnDOT study also includes data from two separate Metropolitan Airports Commission studies, which researched seven public airports located in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. Together, the 133 airports make up Minnesota’s public airport system.
To learn more about the Minnesota Statewide Airport Economic Impact Study, download fact sheets for any of the 126 airports studied including Rochester International Airport, or get other information about Minnesota public airports, visit .

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