Airports in Virginia, including the mammoth Washington Dulles International, generated $28.8 billion in economic activity in 2010, the states' governor, Bob McDonnell, said on Monday.

Citing a study by the state's aviation department, McDonnell said Virginia's 66 public airports created $11.1 billion in payrolls alone.

Commercial service airports account for 71 percent of the state's total economic activity, the study found.

The department, which surveyed airport managers and tenants, as well as visitors and businesses, found that airports support more than 250,000 jobs, with 45,000 coming from "Virginia businesses that rely on public-use airports."

Virginia will complete a larger study on its aviation infrastructure, policy, funding and impact on quality of life by this fall, McDonnell said.

"This report makes it clear that continued and increased investment in our airport system is an effective way to grow the Virginia economy," he said.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Leslie Adler)