News & Publications

Sharing the Wealth from Airport Expansions

Urban Land at 34

April 1998

Whenever a major airport seeks to expand, it seems inevitable that the surrounding community becomes embroiled in a debate over quality-of-life issues, particularly noise, traffic and safety.  Cash-strapped communities see the disparity between the ability of airports to generate revenue and economic activity and their own need to address the adverse impacts that come from being adjacent to an airport.  This article examines a case study of the expansion of the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport and how the airport proprietor and the neighboring community were able to reach an unusual agreement that calls for sharing the economic benefits that were expected to come from expansion of the airport.  The article examines how airport-community deals can benefit both the airport and nearby cities and other jurisdictions.