Economic Impacts of the Trenton-Mercer Airport
Publication Year: 2006

Economic Impacts of the Trenton-Mercer Airport


Michael Lahr, Ph.D. and Robert Checchio. 2006. Economic Impacts of the Trenton-Mercer Airport. Prepared for: Division of Economic Development, County of Mercer, 640 South Broad Street, Trenton, NJ 08650-8068 by the Center for Urban Policy Research.

As part of efforts to examine the economic role of the Trenton-Mercer Airport, the Division of Economic Development of the County of Mercer commissioned the Center for Urban Policy Research (CUPR) at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New Jersey to undertake an assessment of its economic impact. The objective of the study is to determine the contributions to economic activity created by Trenton-Mercer Airport by evaluating the economic contributions of airport businesses, economic activity created by visitors to the airport.

Trenton-Mercer Airport is well established as a corporate air center. A diverse group of establishments currently call the grounds of Trenton-Mercer Airport’s their
home. In addition to services that support airport activity, four corporate flight departments are located there (Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Unisys, and Merck) as well as several military and federal government agencies.

The airport is geographically well positioned to take on a larger role within the New York-Philadelphia air passenger market. Although in 2005 the airport catered to no more than 13,100 boarding passengers, in the not-so-distant past it has handled as many as 90,400 enplanements. Due to the very positive socio-demographics of its market area (Burlington, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Ocean, and Somerset counties in New Jersey and Bucks County in Pennsylvania), much potential readily-accessed commercial passenger demand remains untapped.

During the course of the study a survey of tenants and air operations was undertaken. Publicly available Mercer County fiscal information was also researched. Including spending by visitors that enplane and deplane, activity based at Trenton-Mercer Airport injects about $114.3 million into the Mercer County economy annually. This level of economic activity supports about 750 jobs and $50.7 in labor income within the county (jobs that pay an annual average of about $67,600). It also generates $2.3 million in local government revenues with Mercer County and nearly $3.9 million in state tax revenues statewide. It also helps to generate another $0.6 million in local tax revenues across the state.