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FinancesofflightMILLIONSOFPASSENGERSARRIVEwithsuitcasesinhandtoquicklygetfromPointAtoPointB.Somevisitthefoodcourtforaquickbitebeforetheirdepartureswhileothersheadtoakiosktopickupagossipmagazinefortheflight.Andthentherearethosewhohailacabtothenearesthoteltocatchuponsleep.ButwhatsortofimpactcantheseroutineairportexpenditureshaveontheeconomyLeavethatuptoLeeRedding.AnassociateprofessorofbusinesseconomicsatUniversityofMichigan-DearbornReddingstudiesthevalueofairportsandhowhubsaffecttheoutlyingbusinesscommunity.LastyearWayneCountyAirportAuthorityofficialscontactedReddingwitharequestestimatetheeconomicimpactofDetroitMetropolitanWayneCountyAirportDTW.Asonemightexpectfromanairportthatannuallyservesabout32millionpassengersReddinghadplentyofdataavailableforhisresearch.SoheturnedtoiLabsandrecruitedstudentsfromUM-DearbornsCenterforInnovationResearchforhelp.ThegroupledbyTimDavis03B.B.A.06M.B.A.andNicoleMangisofiLabssurveyedmorethan1600passengerstravelingthroughtheairportabouttheirspendinghabits.ChelseaSmallish13B.B.A.askedabout500ofthosepassengershowmuchtheyplannedtospendontransportationrestaurantsandentertainment.Wesetupaplansotherewerecertainflightswetargetedforinterviewsshesaid.Wewantedtogetpassengersfromtheeastandwestcoaststogiveusabroaderperspective.WhenflightswerecanceledordelayedSmallishhadtoreactquicklyandidentifyanalternategatetoconductinterviewsjustoneoftheskillsshelearnedatiLabsthateventuallyhelpedherlandajobatGasStationTV.IwouldnthavereceivedaquarterofmyjobinterviewswithouthavingiLabsonmyresumeshesaid.ThedatahelpedReddingestimatethatDTWgeneratesmorethan86000jobsandabout10.2billionintotaleconomicimpactthroughoutMichigan.Agoodchunkofthatstemsfromtourism.ThosewhovisitMichiganthroughDTWannuallyspendabout2.7billionwhichcreatesa4.9billionimpactonthestateseconomy.TheairportseconomicimpactextendsfarbeyondDetroitReddingsaid.DetroitMetroAirportconnectsustotheworld.Morethan600000peoplerelyontheairporttopurchaseandsellMichiganproductswhichultimatelybenefitsthestateseconomy.TheairportseconomicimpactextendsfarbeyondDetroit.LeeReddingassociateprofessorofbusinesseconomicsPRIORITY423