The first study of its kind in a decade shows that Tucson International Airport has an annual economic impact of more than $3.2 billion on the region.

The study was commissioned by the Tucson Airport Authority and conducted by MBA students from the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona.

The Eller MBA consulting team calculated a total annual direct impact of $1.7 billion stemming from payroll, goods and services purchased by the airport and airport businesses, spending on capital improvement projects and payment of local taxes.

The remainder of the $3.2 billion total is attributed to indirect and induced impact, including money spent at the airport and in the community by airport patrons, plus revenue generated by businesses that chose to locate in the region “because the airport is integral to their operations,” the airport authority said.

While 13,000 workers are employed by the airport and its major tenants, indirect and induced effects of airport employment bring the total to 35,000 local jobs supported as a result of the airport's presence, the study found.