GREENSBORO — Dramatic growth in cargo shipments from the FedEx Express hub at Piedmont Triad International Airport has made the airport the leader in cargo for all of the state’s public airports, a new report from the N.C. Department of Transportation shows.
The report, “The State of Aviation,” ranks the state’s airports, large and small, on a variety of factors.
PTI is ahead of all the other state’s airports for cargo, moving 303,500 tons of cargo a year according to the most recent figures available for the report. FedEx recently began hiring more people to move an increasing amount of freight through its hub at PTI.
The state’s largest airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport, shipped 302,200 tons of freight in the past year. Raleigh-Durham International Airport was third with 251,300 tons.
PTI also leads the state for employees in the aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul trades, or MRO.
Nearly 150 companies support the aircraft industry with 4,400 workers doing MRO jobs.
And the leader among those companies is Greensboro’s HAECO Americas, which employs nearly 3,000 people at PTI.
That’s a major contribution to the state’s overall rank of No. 5 in the nation for MRO operations.
Kevin Baker, PTI’s executive director, further dissected the numbers available from the state and found that while there are 1,134 people currently enrolled in aeronautic programs at the state’s various community colleges, 639, or 56 percent are at GTCC’s programs, making PTI the leader in that category as well.
The state uses a job multiplier to determine an airport’s overall impact on a region’s economy.
Statewide, airports account for $52 billion in economic impact and are directly or indirectly responsible for 307,000 jobs.
Of that, PTI is responsible for $5.86 billion in economic impact and 25,500 jobs.
Charlotte Douglas, by comparison, is responsible for nearly half of the state’s airport output at $23 billion and more than 133,000 employees.
PTI is third in overall passengers with 1.76 million a year, compared with Raleigh-Durham with 11.6 million passengers and Charlotte Douglas with 46 million passengers a year.
Baker said in an email, “this is an outstanding report for us.”