Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Air Force Academy Spirit

Academy releases 2009 economic impact statement

By Staff Sgt. Don Branum

Academy Public Affairs


The Air Force Academy’s Financial Management Directorate released its Economic Impact Analysis April 10 for Fiscal Year 2009, outlining more than $780 million in total economic impact that affects Colorado Springs and its surrounding communities.

The Academy spends $318 million on payrolls, $310 million in construction, services and materiel and indirectly creates more than 3,500 jobs worth $152 million, according to the report.

Most of that money is spent within the Colorado Springs community, Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Mike Gould wrote in a message included in the report.

“Members of the United States Air Force Academy live, work and educate their children in the Colorado Springs area. They take advantage of the vast recreational opportunities and are involved with local charities and organizations,” General Gould wrote. “The Academy could not succeed in its mis-sion without the contribution and support of our local communities.”

The Air Force no longer requires bases to release economic impact statements, but publishing such reports provides a great opportunity to showcase a base’s value to the local community, said Capt. Peter Smith, the Finance Directorate’s chief of financial analysis.

“This fits well with General Gould’s initiative to build stronger ties between the Academy and the city of Colorado Springs,” Captain Smith said. “We provide jobs, we have contracts, and we have our military personnel who spend their money in the local community, and our economic impact statement reflects that.”

Payroll expenditures include pay and allowances for 6,745 military personnel – a figure that includes 4,667 cadets and Academy Preparatory School students – as well as 1,582 appropriated fund civilians and 2,023 non-appropriated fund civilians and contractors. Military payrolls account for $188 million, with appropriated fund and NAF civilian payrolls accounting for $107 million and $23 million, respectively.

Nearly $101 million, or 98 percent of the Academy’s total construction expenditures, was spent toward maintaining and operating 30 square miles of land that includes more than 180,000 square yards of runways, 162 miles of paved and unpaved roads and $4.9 billion in facilities. Another $113 million was spent on local services contracts. Materials, equipment and supplies accounted for $93 million, including $5 million for Tricare expenditures and $2.2 million for impact aid and tuition assistance.

Indirect jobs estimates are based on Labor Department statistics and the number of jobs on base, Captain Smith said. The economic impact statement estimates 3,500 jobs were created at a total value of $152 million based on the 10,350 jobs on base.

Retiree information is not included in the report. However, several agencies on base, including the base exchange, commissary, 10th Medical Group and 10th Force Support Squadron, provide services for nearly half of the area’s 75,000 retirees and family members.

To Top