Counties play a critical role in ensuring safe, efficient and resilient transportation infrastructure across the U.S., investing more than $100 billion annually to build and maintain public infrastructure. In addition to being responsible for 45 percent of public roads and 40 percent of bridges, counties are involved in the operations of 30 percent of public airports throughout the country.
Through investments in these airports and related infrastructure, county governments play a critical role in projects that foster economic growth across America. Strategic investments in airport infrastructure support economic competitiveness, grow businesses locally and nationally, promote multimodal connections, enhance industry sectors and the innovation economy, improve passenger travel and foster creative partnerships among public agencies and private firms at the local, regional and national levels.
Such investments include expanding runways, increasing access to airports through roadway improvements and providing commercial, industrial and research space to enhance business opportunities at airports. The four case studies in this report demonstrate how counties can take action to improve their local and regional economies through investments
in county-owned airport infrastructure, working in partnership with state and federal transportation and economic development agencies to drive new opportunities for growth.