Air transport supports 7.3 million jobs and $844 billion in GDP in North America.

The air transport industry in North America directly generated an estimated 2.4 million jobs in 2016.

  • 553,800 of them (22.5% of the total) were employed by airlines or handling agents as, for example, flight crew, check-in staff, maintenance crew, or head office staff;
  • 93,000 (4%) had jobs with airport operators in, for example, airport management, maintenance, and security;
  •  1.2 million (50.5%) worked on-site in airports at, for example, retail outlets, restaurants, and hotels;
  • 525,000 (21.5%) were employed in the manufacture of civil aircraft (including systems, components, airframes, and engines); and
  • 39,700 (1.5%) worked for air navigation service providers in, for example, air traffic control and engineering.

The total impacts – including those from the operations of the air transport sector itself, the impact of the air transport sector’s procurement of inputs of goods and services from its supply chain, and the impact of employees of the air transport sector and its supply chain spending their wages – mean the air transport sector supported 5.8 million jobs and contributed $694.3 billion to GDP in North America.

Moreover, regional economies derive substantial benefits via the catalytic impacts of tourist spending, much of which is generated by tourists travelling by air. In 2016, the spending of tourists arriving at their destination by air is estimated to have added 1.5 million to employment and $149.7 billion in GDP.