Donaldson Field contributes $522M to South Carolina economy, report finds

Aerial photo of the former Donaldson Air Force Base. Photo by Bradley Bormuth, Wikimedia Creative Commons.

A new report released by the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission shows that Donaldson Field in southern Greenville County leads the state in economic impact among general aviation airports.

The report estimates that Donaldson Field’s annual economic impact is $522.41 million, which is derived from employment, payroll, and total spending, according to a news release.

Direct and indirect employment at the airport is estimated at 1,874 with an annual payroll of $129.3 million. Total annual spending from airport activities is $393.1 million.

“The Upstate economy relies heavily on Donaldson Field to keep businesses operating around the clock,” says Danny Moyd, chief operations officer at the South Carolina Technology & Aviation Center. “The value we deliver compared to our operating and upkeep costs is one of the state’s best investments, and we continue to work hard to improve upon that value every day.”

Located at the South Carolina Technology & Aviation Center, Donaldson Field serves as a major aircraft maintenance and modification center, providing everything from major repairs to routine inspections, according to the news release. Other uses include air charters, hangar and tie-down rental, flight lessons, and pilot and aircraft supplies.

Donaldson Field ranks fifth in economic impact among all 57 airports operating in South Carolina, according to the release. Only the state’s four major commercial aviation airports in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Greenville/Spartanburg, and Columbia have more economic activity due to serving general population air travel.

One upgrade underway at Donaldson Field is the repaving of its main taxiway, which has not been repaved since its original construction in 1942. The $3.8 million project, funded by a federal grant, will allow the airport to support larger aircraft, according to the release.

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