News Room

New Report Highlights Willard Airport’s $99.75M Economic Impact to Region

For Immediate Release


Carly McCrory, Executive Director
Champaign County Economic Development Corporation

Tim Bannon, Executive Director
University of Illinois-Willard Airport


CHAMPAIGN, IL, October 24, 2019 – In a new report measuring the economic impact of the University of Illinois-Willard Airport (CMI) to the region, it was determined that the total estimated annual impact to Champaign County is $99.75M, a 34% increase since 2016. The report provides an analysis of existing air service, possible new air service, and airport non-airline aviation economic activity.

Other key metrics identified in the report include:

  • total estimated local job creation or support of 751 full-time employees with $30M in annual payroll, an increase of 34% since 2016;
  • total estimated 122 visitors per day, an increase of 91% since 2016; and
  • total estimated $14M taxes generated, an increase of 39% since 2016.

In recent data released by the Federal Aviation Administration, there were a total of 109,878 enplanements at Willard Airport in 2018, up 9.73% from 2017.

“We were happy to lead this study in partnership with Willard Airport and community organizations to showcase the incredible impact Willard Airport has on our region,” said Carly McCrory, Executive Director of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation. “The airport staff and Executive Committee have worked diligently in recent years to expand airline service and improve on-site experiences, and we’re happy to see such a positive increase in numbers since our last report in 2016, especially as it relates to overall impact, full-time jobs, and total enplanements.”

“The University of Illinois-Willard Airport continues to be a vital asset to the local economy, responsible for over 750 jobs and $99.75M of impact in Champaign County,” said Tim Bannon, Executive Director of Willard Airport. “We are happy to see a 34% increase to our annual impact to Champaign County, a true indicator that the airport is contributing to our local economy at a high level. We are constantly working to improve the customer experience, while prioritizing air service development.”

The report was sponsored by Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, University of Illinois-Willard Airport, Visit Champaign County, City of Champaign, Parkland College, Frasca International, University of Illinois Research Park, Flightstar, and the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.

The full report is available here: