Brainerd airport sets record for annual passenger traffic

Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport
Brainerd Dispatch file photo

The Brainerd lakes region continues to thrive, as evidenced through the increase in passengers using the twice-daily scheduled air service and general aviation at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport, airport officials stated in a news release.

A 2019 annual report issued by the airport charted another record-breaking year for passenger enplanements totaling 21,557. This milestone broke the previous known record of 20,951 enplanements established in 2018. General aviation at the airport continues to show signs of stability through the continued purchase of aviation fuels at Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.

Furthermore, The Minnesota Department of Transportation recently released the Minnesota Statewide Airport Economic Impact Study. The study shows public airports like Brainerd’s are significant contributors to statewide and local economies.

“The members of Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Commission are excited to share the study results and are pleased to see that BRD continues to provide economic benefits to our region,” Airport Director Steve Wright stated in the release. “The study shows BRD supports $30,966,170 in total annual economic activity, while sustaining approximately 275 regional jobs.”

Other findings of the study show the Brainerd airport also makes the following economic contributions:


  • Provides economic efficiencies that bring competitive advantages that help local businesses create jobs that support local economies.

  • Supports more than 275 jobs and more than $12 million in annual payroll.

  • Generates approximately $19 million in annual spending, and $1.3 million in state and local tax revenue.

  • Supports scheduled air service, corporate aviation, local aerial firefighting, two air ambulance operations, fish and wildlife activities, and a full complement of aeronautical support services.

  • Brings 14,220 annual visitors to the area.

  • Provides essential infrastructure needed for fast, efficient business connections with daily package delivery connecting local companies and people to national and international markets or suppliers.

MnDOT commissioned this study in 2019 to measure the annual economic impact provided by 126 of Minnesota’s 133 public airports, most of them located in Greater Minnesota. The 2019 MnDOT study also includes data from two separate Metropolitan Airports Commission studies, which researched seven public airports located in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Together, the 133 airports make up Minnesota’s public airport system.
To learn more about the Minnesota Statewide Airport Economic Impact Study, download fact sheets for any of the 126 airports studied and get other information about Minnesota public airports at .

For more information about Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport, visit or contact airport administration at or 218-825-2166.

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