Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG or Winnipeg International Airport) contributes significantly to employment and economic development in both the local community and throughout the Province of Manitoba. This study examines the current economic impacts generated from the airport’s operations, based on a review of the business in 2019.
Economic impact is a measure of the spending and employment associated with a sector of the economy, a specific project, or a change in government policy or regulation. In this case, economic impact refers to the economic contribution associated with the ongoing activities of Winnipeg International Airport. The three major components of economic impact are classified as direct, indirect, and induced impacts.  Together, they provide a snapshot of how the business of the airport can impact the local and provincial economy.
YWG’s impact throughout the local region is reflected in the 10,020 direct full-time equivalents (FTEs)  of employment that are supported or facilitated by the airport and the $580 million in direct wages paid. YWG’s direct employment impact has grown 5% since 2016. Including indirect and induced impacts, YWG generated a total of 17,120 FTEs of employment and $990 million in total wages throughout the Province of Manitoba in 2019.
The current economic impact of YWG, which includes the impact related to the airport’s ongoing operations, is summarized in Figure ES-1.  Direct economic impact measures the employment and economic impact directly associated with the airport. This includes employment of all tenants located at YWG, as well as relevant employment of firms that are located off airport. Indirect and induced impacts are multiplier impacts in the wider economy stimulated by the airport’s activities (e.g., other businesses that supply goods and services to the airport and spending by airport employees). 
Emphasis is placed on the direct economic impacts as these are based on data from the employer survey and are clearly identifiable. The multiplier impacts are derived from Statistics Canada data and are therefore less definite.
$580 million in wages
$1,260 million in gross domestic product (GDP)
$2,920 million in economic output
The direct impacts of YWG in 2019 are estimated to be 10,020 direct FTEs or person years of employment, earning approximately $580 million in direct wages. Direct employment generates $1,260 million in direct GDP and $2,920 million in direct economic output annually.
Total impacts are calculated by adding together the direct, indirect, and induced impacts. Including indirect and induced multiplier impacts, current economic impacts of YWG include a total of 18,500 jobs or 17,120 FTEs. Total wage of all employees amounts to $990 million in wages. Furthermore, YWG’s operations contributed an estimated $2,060 million and $4,320 million in total GDP and total economic output, respectively, to the provincial economy.
Figure ES-1: Ongoing Economic Impact of Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, 2019
Note: Totals may not sum due to rounding.
Note: Dollar figures are expressed in 2019 prices.
The direct economic impact of ongoing operations in 2019 has grown since 2016. Direct FTEs rose by 5% from about 9,550 to over 10,020 between 2016 and 2019. Figure ES-2 summarizes employment growth between 2016 and 2019. The growth in direct employment at YWG was driven primarily by airlines and aviation support services such as aircraft maintenance and parts supply.
Figure ES-2: Direct Employment Levels from YWG Ongoing Operations, 2016 vs. 2019
YWG is also an important generator of taxation revenues to all levels of government. Total taxes paid on an annual basis, by airport employers and employees, are estimated at $288 million per year. Approximately 6% of taxes was paid by air passengers, 90% was paid by the airport employers and their employees, and the remaining 4% by WAA.
The majority of taxes accrue to the federal government at 70% overall, while the provincial government receives 27% of tax revenue generated by YWG. The municipal government also benefits from YWG through the collection of property taxes amounting to nearly $8 million paid by YWG and its tenants.
Figure ES-3: Estimated Annual Tax Revenues from YWG, 2019
- 1 Direct impacts account for the economic activity of the target sector itself. Indirect impacts are those that result because of the direct impacts, which involves employment in downstream industries that arise from the presence of YWG. Induced employment is generated from expenditures by individuals employed directly or indirectly by the airport.
- 2 FTE = full-time equivalent of employment. For purposes of this study, one full-time equivalent of employment corresponds to 1,832 hours of work annually. See Appendix C for further details.
- 3 The results of this study are based on a review of 2019 operations.
- 4 Multiplier impacts must be interpreted with caution since they may be illusory when the economy experiences high employment and output near industry capacity.
- 5 The indirect and induced economic impacts are calculated using the latest available Statistics Canada multipliers for the province of Manitoba (2016).