GSP International Airport Drives Economic Growth, Supporting Nearly 20,000 Jobs and $4 Billion in Local Output

An aerial view of the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport tarmac.
GSP Airport

The Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport generates nearly 20,000 jobs and contributes $4 billion in annual economic output to the Upstate South Carolina region, according to the facility’s latest economic impact study.

The study found that GSP’s $4 billion total economic impact is 40% greater than the $2.9 billion impact in 2018 and eleven times greater than the $377 million reported in 2009.

The study surveyed GSP’s involvement in commercial development, general aviation, air cargo and passenger services, which have all increased significantly in recent years.

“When we invest in the airport, we are investing in the entire Upstate region,” said Dave Edwards, President and CEO of Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport. “Our substantial growth contributes to and reflects the growth we are witnessing in our area. As a vital economic engine, GSP is proud to play a pivotal role in enhancing the prosperity of Upstate South Carolina.”

Highlights from the study:

GSP Airport Economic Impact
  2023 2018 2012 2009
Jobs 19,860 14,817 9,528 3,692
Income $994.9 million $648.9 million $170.5 million $112 million
Tax Revenues $381.4 million $293.7 million $112.5 million $46.9 million
Economic Output $4 billion $2.9 billion $817 million $377.5 million

In recent years, GSP has significantly expanded its economic profile through the expansion of air cargo and passenger services, commercial development and prudent facility planning.

In 2017, the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District began Cerulean Aviation to provide fixed-base operator services, fueling and air cargo support. Since then, GSP’s cargo numbers have increased nearly 78% and the airport now offers scheduled cargo flights to Belgium, China, Denmark, Germany, and Korea. To meet growing demand, a 110,000 sq. ft. cargo facility was opened in 2019 and was expanded to 160,000 sq, ft. in 2022. In 2023, the aircraft apron was doubled to accommodate up to six Boeing 747-800 aircraft simultaneously.

At the same time, general aviation facilities were expanded with the addition of three new corporate hangars, a larger aircraft apron, an expanded fuel farm and in 2024 work will begin on a project to double the size of the existing general aviation terminal.

Commercial passenger activity has rebounded from the effects of the pandemic and GSP now offers nonstop flights to 21 destinations by seven major airlines, including Avelo Airlines and Silver Airways which were added since 2018. Passenger air service is expected to continue to grow over the next five years, which provides an additional boost to the economy.  According to the report, adding a 137-seat passenger round trip flight at 80% capacity supports 632 local jobs, $29,42190,213 in additional income, $96,467,741 in increased output and $11,178,276 in total tax revenues.

Over the next 6 years, GSP plans to introduce over $427 million in capital improvements to accommodate our growing region, including significant roadway improvements, a new parking garage and consolidated rental car facility, general aviation expansion and terminal expansion work. On average, 800 local jobs will be supported annually by these projects and $78.4 million in tax revenues will be generated.

SYNEVA Economics, based in Asheville, N.C., performed the study using information from the 2022 calendar year. The study tracked Airport District operations, air cargo, fixed-base operator (FBO) services, commercial development and visiting airline passengers.

The complete Economic Impact report is available at https://gspairport.com/gsp-international-airport-2023-economic-impact-analysis/.

Written by OneSpartanburg, Inc.