The Arnold Engineering Development Complex economic impact – that includes remote operating locations – the Hypervelocity Wind Tunnel 9 at the Federal Research Center White Oak, near Silver Spring Md., and the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex at Ames Research Center, Calif. – was $602.8 million for fiscal 2016.
Each location impacted the local areas through payroll, secondary jobs created through local spending, and other expenditures for supplies, utilities, fuel and services and the spin-off impact of those purchases.
AEDC employed a mixture of active-duty military personnel from the Air Force and Navy; Department of Defense civilians; and contractor personnel, which totaled 2,282 personnel in fiscal 2016. Of the 2,282 personnel, 43 were active-duty military; one Air Force Reserve; 326 appropriated fund civilian employees (includes general schedule, federal wage board and other military branches); 66 government non-appropriated fund employees; 38 other civilians (credit union, Base Exchange and commissary tenants); and 1,808 contractor and sub-contractor employees.
Additionally, using the Tennessee Valley Authority economic impact model methodology, AEDC estimated that more than 1,575 secondary jobs were created in the local area, for a total of 3,857 jobs directly related to AEDC. Examples of secondary jobs include those created by home construction and at local supermarkets, car dealerships and department stores.
During fiscal 2016, the payroll cost for AEDC government and contractor personnel was $221.1 million. AEDC’s direct expenditures – which include utility costs, service contracts with outside vendors and military health insurance paid to local doctors and hospitals – was $188.8 million. Furthermore, the indirect spin-off impact of these direct expenditures is approximately $192.9 million.
The overall economic impact figure does not include more than $107 million paid to the approximately 4,626 retired military personnel living in the local area around Arnold Air Force Base. In total, this retired pay group generates more than $157 million, including the spin-off effect.
The economic impact data and secondary employment estimates represent AEDC’s economic impact during fiscal 2016, which ran from Oct. 1, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2016.
AEDC operates the world’s largest complex of ground test facilities with a replacement value of more than $11.7 billion.
The 704th Test Group, added to AEDC in December of last year, is not part of this economic impact assessment, but will be added in 2017.