Two years after the Naval Air Station was commissioned, millions of dollars flowed from the military establishment into channels of local trade and commerce. Initial cost of constructing for the base was at $6,000,000 (six million in 1942 had the same buying power as $87,356,903.23 in 2012. Annual inflation over this period was 3.90%), much of which found its way to Fort Lauderdale. Approximately $350,000 annually went to local real estate interests in rentals from officers and men who lived "ashore." About $250,000, was spent each year in Fort Lauderdale by the station Administration for supplies and services. In addition, the total annual civilian payroll at the station, reached almost $1,000,000, most of it going to Ft. Lauderdale citizens. Although precise figures are not available, the military payroll at NASFL ran into millions yearly during the war years. Much of this money was spent in Lauderdale.
After the war, returning veterans created a population explosion in the area that dwarfed the 1920's land boom. The Naval Air Station provided an important catalyst for the growth and economic expansion of South Florida. Today, Fort Lauderdale is a major yacht and cruise ship center, one of the nation's biggest tourist destinations, and the heart of a metropolitan division of 1.8 million people.