Passenger count climbing

APRIL’S NORTHWEST Regional Airport’s passenger count was up by nine per cent compared to the same month in 2010, convincing its manager that its passenger total will comfortably top 110,000 this year.

And that would be an increase from the 105,389 recorded in 2010, says Carman Hendry.

By itself, April 2011’s count of 9,258 was nearly 800 passengers more than April 2010’s 8,502.

Hendry’s confident there’ll be a similar pattern for May, saying some of that might come from Air Canada’s introduction of an early morning departure to Vancouver and late evening return.

“It certainly makes it more affordable for a businessperson. They don’t have to pay for a hotel and can do a full day of business and come back the same day,” he said.

Hendry’s said the approval by the federal government of the Northwest Transmission Line, announced May 6, and which clears the way for a construction start, will intensify passenger traffic.

He’s also expecting an increase based on upcoming work leading toward the start of Rio Tinto Alcan’s smelter rebuild project in Kitimat.

Hendry added that the airport is getting questions from companies interested in work associated with other planned major developments.

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