The increasing demand on today's airports to be self-sufficient, cost-conscious and efficient brings financial challenges regarding sources of revenue and planning options for air service. Lansing's Capital City Airport is operated by the Capital Region Airport Authority (CRAA), an entity set up by the City of Lansing and Ingham County. However, the airport's primary service area is considerably broader. The Capitol Region Airport Authority was therefore interested in understanding how the airport serves to generate and support economic activity within its ownership jurisdiction and also within other adjacent counties.
To address these issues, the Capitol Region Airport Authority engaged the team of Mead & Hunt and Economic Development Research Group to conduct and analyze surveys of travelers and businesses, to establish the extent of traveler use and business reliance on the airport within the three county metropolitan area. Besides the usual surveys of air travelers and airport tenants, this study reached out to over 1,000 businesses to obtain information on the extent of their use and reliance on the local airport. In addition, Economic Development Research Group applied a three-region economic impact model to trace the nature of job, income and business output generated by the airport and its use.