Greenville Downtown Airport - GMU
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Airports Support the Economy

Supporting the Economy

Aviation can be divided into two broad categories: Military and Civil. Aviation done by a branch of the military (Air Force, Air National Guard, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy) is considered military aviation. All non-military aviation is considered civil aviation. Civil aviation is divided into two smaller categories: commercial and general aviation.  Commercial aviation includes all flights (passenger and cargo) that fly on scheduled routes. General aviation includes all other civil flights.  If you wanted to fly to Orlando, FL. you could contact an airline and find out when they have a flight scheduled to that city. That would be considered commercial aviation. But if you chartered a plane to fly you to Orlando on your schedule, that would be considered general aviation.

Civil aviation is vitally important to the United States economy. In 2012, over 
837.2 million passengers traveled over 1.146 trillion miles in U.S. airspace.  In that same year, over 11.8 million jobs were supported by the civil aviation industry, accounting for more than 1.5 trillion in total economic activity.  Commercial aviation accounted for $1,455 billion of that total; general aviation accounted for $78 billion.  In South Carolina, civil aviation contributed $6.307 billion to the economy in 2012. In that same year, almost 60,000 jobs in South Carolina were directly related to the civil aviation industry.*

If you wanted to fly to Orlando, FL. you could contact an airline and find out when they have a flight scheduled to that city. That would be considered commercial aviation. But if you chartered a plane to fly you to Orlando on your schedule, that would be considered general aviation.  Civil aviation is vitally important to the United States economy. In 2012, over 837.2 million passengers traveled over 1.146 trillion miles in U.S. airspace.  In that same year, over 11.8 million jobs were supported by the civil aviation industry, accounting for more than 1.5 trillion in total economic activity.  Commercial aviation accounted for $1,455 billion of that total; general aviation accounted for $78 billion.

In South Carolina, civil aviation contributed $6.307 billion to the economy in 
2012. In that same year, almost 60,000 jobs in South Carolina were directly related to the civil aviation industry.*

Commercial Aircraft

Many commercial aircraft are larger than general aviation aircraft since 
they usually carry more passengers. To give you an idea of size: the fuselage that you see near the entrance to Runway Park is a Boeing 737-500; the aircraft you see “parked” across the field is a Boeing 727-200F, which was donated by FedEx to the aircraft maintenance training school located there.

Tourism

Over 2.5 million visitors arrive in South Carolina by either commercial airlines 
or general aviation aircraft. It is estimated that these visitors spend over $1 billion while staying in South Carolina, while the tourism industry overall contributes over $16.5 billion dollars a year to the South Carolina economy.

*  The Economic Impact of Civil Aviation on the U.S. Economy - January 2015

South Carolina has five commercial airports:
Columbia Metropolitan (CAE)
Florence Regional (FLO)
Greenville-Spartanburg International (GSP)
Hilton Head Island (HXD)
Myrtle Beach International (MYR)

South Carolina has one joint use 
(commercial/military airport):
Charleston International / Charleston Air Force Base (CHS)

South Carolina has three major military 
aviation facilities:
Shaw Air Force Base (SSC)
McEntire Joint National Guard Base (MMT)
Beaufort Marine Corps Station (NBC)
The Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU) is one of South
Carolina’s 53 publicly owned general aviation airports.

     Click here for audio version of sign content.

Additional resources: 

http://www.nbaa.org/business-aviation/2015-general-aviation-contribution-to-US-economy.pdf

https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/media/2014-economic-impact-report.pdf          

https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/media/2015-economic-impact-report.pdf




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