News Airport Authority

RELEASE – Reno-Tahoe International Airport Elevates Northern Nevada’s Economy with $3.6 Billion Impact and Growing Passenger Diversity

Print Page

Latest Economic Impact Study Released

RENO, Nev. (Jan. 29, 2024) – According to its latest economic impact study, the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority (RTAA) delivers an annual economic impact of $3.6 billion to northern Nevada. The study, conducted by Ekay Economic Consultants, Inc. (EEC) in partnership with the Center for Regional Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, also shared that the economic impact of a single Boeing 737-800, the airport’s most landed aircraft, contributes $129,500 to the local economy.  

“The RTAA is proud to be a catalyst for economic growth in northern Nevada. Our commitment to fostering transportation innovation, driving employment, and enhancing the visitor experience continues to propel our region forward,” said Daren Griffin, President/CEO of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority. “The $3.6 billion economic impact is a testament to the collective efforts and partnerships that make RTAA a key contributor to northern Nevada’s success.” 

Key Takeaways From the Study:

  • The RTAA supports $3.6 billion in annual economic impact, representing approximately 8% of total regional output. This signifies a substantial increase of $1.6 billion over the past decade, reinforcing RTAA’s commitment to promoting sustainable growth and prosperity in the region. 
  • The RTAA directly supports over 6,300 jobs and indirectly supports over 17,500 jobs, representing approximately 6% of total regional employment. 
  • From 2022 to 2027, Northern Nevada anticipates adding 24,120 jobs, reflecting a 6.6% growth. The surge in employment is projected to be particularly significant in the manufacturing, transportation, and construction sectors, with the MoreRNO Infrastructure Program playing a role in driving this expansion.  

Economic Contribution and Impactful Activities: 

The RTAA plays a crucial role in the region’s economy through employment, aviation support, and encouraging visitor and business travel. Its diverse economic contributions, spanning from airport operations, private aviation services, small business activity, government agencies, and more, have a substantial impact on the local economy.  

Airport’s Role in Tourism: 

The airport also plays a supporting role in northern Nevada’s tourism landscape. Air travel recently became the most common mode of transportation for our tourists now that less than half arrive by car. Local visitor surveys estimate that over a billion dollars were injected into the local economy by visitors in 2023, underlining the airport’s pivotal role in driving tourism-related economic activities. 

“RNO brings significant benefits to northern Nevada and eastern Sierra communities,” remarked Carol Chaplin, Chair of the RTAA Board of Trustees and President/CEO at Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority and Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority. “Travelers from across the globe choose RNO as the gateway to our region, enticed by the year-round leisure and adventure opportunities our communities provide.” 

Regional Evolution and Growth Drivers: 

The airport’s role in northern Nevada’s growth gains added significance as the region establishes itself as a key player in the electric vehicle (EV) and lithium battery industry. The surge in new businesses, especially in the EV sector, highlights the growing need for air travel services to support business travel demand and to create new sustainable, high-wage jobs in the region.  

The growth in high-wage employment serves as a catalyst for the region’s expanding population and positive demographic changes. This trend is propelled by the influx of new companies into the area post-recession and the transformative shifts in industry composition. This economic vibrancy contributes to increased demand for services, including air travel, influencing the overall economic impact of the airport. 

Ekay Economic Consultants, Inc. (EEC), & Center for Regional Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno. (2023, November). Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Fiscal, Economic, and Industry Impacts. 


The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority (RTAA) operates two of the most important economic drivers for our region–the Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) and the Reno-Stead Airport (RTS). The RTAA is financially self-sufficient, meaning it is funded through airport operations and not state or local taxes. Eleven airlines serve RNO, flying to multiple nonstop destinations throughout the United States and Mexico. For more details, visit