Twenty-six billion. That’s the amount of money the Denver International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the country, contributes to the state economy. According to a new study by the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics, DIA has a $26.3 billion economic impact on Colorado, which is up 18 percent from 2008 when the figure was $22.3 billion per year. “Airports and aviation are big business for Colorado,” said CDOT Executive Director Don Hunt in a statement. “It is great to see that they are playing such an important role in their local communities and, in combination with their fellow airports, for the state of Colorado, as well.”

The most recent study also found that DIA supports 188,338 employees and a payroll of $8.6 billion. “As we approach 20 years of operation in 2015, Denver International Airport remains the primary economic engine for the Colorado economy,” said Kim Day, Denver’s manager of aviation in a statement. “The Federal Aviation Administration forecasts that air travel on U.S. airlines will nearly double to 1.2 billion passengers by 2032.”

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