Denver International Airport Generates More Than $33.5 Billion Annually in Economic Impact for Colorado

News Release

February 10, 2020 - Denver, Colorado


DENVER – FEB. 10, 2020 – Denver International Airport and the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) Division of Aeronautics announced that Denver International Airport’s (DEN) contribution to the state of Colorado’s economy increased by nearly 30 percent from 2013 to 2018. This is according to the Division of Aeronautics’ 2020 Statewide Aviation Economic Impact Study. DEN has grown to become a $33.5 billion economic engine for the state and a driver for increased business and travel.

DEN’s total economic output comparison from 2013 to 2018:




Value Added

Business Revenues




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 *please note, the 2020 study utilizes data from 2018, the most recent full year for which data is available.

“DEN is proud to remain the top economic engine for the state of Colorado, especially as we celebrate our 25th year,” said DEN CEO Kim Day. “When DEN opened in 1995, we served around 31 million passengers, in 2019, we reached nearly 70 million passengers. Just as important are the many jobs created by DEN, which grew from 183,878 in 2013 to 259,084 in 2019. As we continue to grow, we are committed to bolstering Colorado’s future as an economic powerhouse.”

As the study states, airports in Colorado are responsible for generating billions of dollars in economic benefit and supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs. Colorado’s diverse system of airports helps to sustain, lead, and diversify the State’s economy.

“The Division of Aeronautics is proud to partner with DEN and 73 other public-use airports as we work statewide to support aviation and airports as a key part of Colorado’s multi-modal transportation system,” said CDOT Aeronautics Director David Ulane. “The increased economic impact at DEN is echoed statewide, underscoring the importance and value of aviation across all of Colorado.”

DEN connects people and businesses to the world, and as Denver has grown so has DEN’s air service network – serving more than 210 nonstop destinations, including 28 international cities in 14 countries. As a result, more tourists are visiting Denver and more businesses are calling Denver their home. More than 9.8 million people visited Denver in 2019, indicating the Mile-High City’s appeal.

DEN contributes to the state’s economic wellbeing through directly-related employment, purchasing and sales and by facilitating the movement of people, goods and services throughout the world. DEN provides a vital connection between Colorado and the world through tourism and commerce. DEN has one of the largest networks with more than 215 nonstop destinations, 26 international destinations and 24 airlines.

The full CDOT Aviation Economic Impact Study will be released in April. 

Denver International Airport is the fifth-busiest airport in the United States. With more than 64.5 million passengers traveling through the airport each year, DEN is one of the busiest airline hubs in the world’s largest aviation market. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $33.5 billion for the region annually. For more information, check us out on check us out on YouTube and Instagram, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.



Under the Direction of the Colorado Aeronautical Board, the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Division of Aeronautics supports Colorado's multi-modal transportation system by advancing a safe, efficient, and effective statewide air and space system through collaboration, investment and advocacy. In partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration, 74 public use airports and a diverse group of aviation system users, the Division also works to promote aviation safety and education through the efficient administration of the Colorado Aviation Fund.  For more information, check us out on YouTube, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.