Airport Benefit-Cost (ABC) System Applied for Wisconsin

Economic Development Research Group for the Wisconsin Bureau of Aviation, 2001

Economic Development Research Group for the Wisconsin Bureau of Aviation, 2001

Wisconsin Bureau of Aviation engaged Economic Development Research Group, Inc. to develop its new generation of database software to help the agency assess benefits, costs and economic impacts of individual airport projects, and to assess benefits of proposals for statewide airport system plans. The ABC system was originally developed by staff of EDR Group for WisDOT, with assistance from FAA funds for state airport system planning. The updated ABC-2, as a Microsoft Access application, integrates with other office functions and software.

Project Assessment -- The initial application of ABC-2 was for comparing benefits, costs and economic impacts of proposed airport improvement projects -- both individually and as a group. The initial version was designed and implemented by EDR Group to comply with FAA guidelines for benefit-cost analysis, and was completed with programming staff assistance from Cambridge Systematics. The system was initially applied to help assess Sheboygan Airport. The system was subsequently applied to develop benefit-cost analysis for proposed new runway and ILS at Rock County Airport, which is a cargo-oriented airport serving a regional automotive business cluster (that depends on just-in-time air cargo support). Since the time savings benefits were largely for cargo and not passengers, it was necessary to consult with FAA staff and for EDR Group to enhance the model system to appropriately recognize time savings benefits for cargo aviation. The resulting benefit-cost report was submitted to and approved by the FAA. The ABC-2 system was later also applied for benefit-cost analysis of improvements to West Bend Airport.

Airport Economic Impacts -- Staff of Wisconsin DOT were trained to use the ABC on their own, and they have been applying it upon request to complete studies of the local economic role of individual airports as requested by individual communities. For WisDOT, this ensures that these airports maintain a consistent application and interpretation of economic impact studies. Available examples of local studies using ABC include Sauk Prairie, Green Bay, Burlington, Eagle River and Marshfield. (See links at the bottom of this page).

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