The airport is also responsible for 47,760 jobs, the report from UNC Charlotte's Center for Transportation Policy Studies said.
The study's findings were presented to the RDU Airport Authority at a meeting on Thursday.
In comparison, a recent report from the North Carolina Department of Transportation said 74 airports across the state were responsible for 69,710 jobs and had a collective impact of $9.49 billion. That report was issued in May, and the DOT acknowledged the impact of major airports such as RDU and Charlotte Douglas International Airport was not fully documented. It estimated RDU's economic impact at nearly $2 billion annually.
A 2005 study done by UNC Charlotte for the Charlotte airport found that the Queen City facility generated an economic impact of nearly $10 billion and some 100,000 jobs.
RDU supports 450 daily flights. Nine major and 16 regional airlines utilize RDU. More than 9 million passengers passed through the airport in 2005.
"We recognize that RDU's impact is significant, yet the airport is only one of several major forces supporting the region's past, present and future economic prosperity," said Teresa Damiano, director of marketing for the RDU Airport Authority and the staff coordinator for the study. "The diverse economic sectors in our region create and support the demand for air services and we are part of the infrastructure that supports a dynamic economy."
Direct economic activity linked to the airport generated $1.5 billion in spending, including 4,500 jobs.
Copyright 2022 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.