Airport and Realignment Project
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The Economic Impacts of the Pullman-Moscow Airport and Realignment Project
Presented by The Malcolm M. Renfrew Interdisciplinary Colloquium
Clinical Assistant Professor, Economics
College of Business and Economics
Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016
Whitewater Room, Idaho Commons
Presented with support of the Provost’s Office and University Honors Program
Airports today are much like railroads in the old Wild West in which communities connected by rail usually thrived while those not connected by rail often died. Airports are essential for modern economic development, particularly for isolated, rural regions of the United States.
For Pullman-Moscow, air travel is especially important given its geographically isolated location and underdeveloped highways and limited rail service. Currently, the Pullman-Moscow Airport is at a crossroads. The total cost of the planned realignment project is projected to reach $120 million. While most of funding will be provided by federal government, the project requires sizable local matching funds. In addition, the project is complicated by the airport’s unique two-state, two-community and two-university jurisdiction.
While the costs to the communities are substantial, prior analyses suggest that benefits are benefits are likely to be much higher than costs and will likely increase sharply in the future. The focus of this study was to fully assess the impact and integration of the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport in the regional economy and its future role after the runway realignment.
Steven Peterson is a clinical assistant professor of economics at the University of Idaho, where he has been employed for 23 years. He has conducted more than 100 economic impact or other related economic studies covering almost every aspect of Idaho’s economy. Steven has been working with the Tribes in Idaho for over twenty years. He has active partnerships across the UI campus. Peterson has also completed about 20 local (i.e., Palouse region) studies on various aspects of economic growth and business activity.