Surprise, surprise, airport passenger numbers continue to climb

Keeping with this years trend, the number of passengers at the Northwest Regional Airport continued to break records, with October 2012 being the second highest month in recorded history and easily the busiest October on record.

“Usually October is on its way down,” said airport manager Carman Hendry.

October 2012 saw 13,086 passengers come through the airport. That's 383 more than September 2012 and 1,617 more than October of last year.

The highest month on record was August of this year. 13808 passengers used the airport that month.

“For a fiscal year it equals a 15 per cent increase over last year, and for calendar year its 16 per cent,” he said. The fiscal year ends March 31.

“We're five to six months into the fiscal year and 15 per cent ahead of the game,” he said.

Airlines are keeping up with the demand, said Hendry, noting that Air Canada has three flights a day for the first time in a long time, and Hawkair is also seeing three departures a day, both seven days a week.

“Usually the Saturdays have been one flight for Hawkair, two for Air Canada,” he said.

And Central Mountain Air flies six times a week, adding to the total number of flights, which is around 50 per week according to the airport's online schedule.

The flight schedule this fall is equal to a summer flight schedule, he said.

“We've never had this busy a flight schedule,” he said.

“The majority of the increase of traffic is due to the construction, investment in the neighbourhood and possibly a little bit more disposable income for the existing residents,” he said. “There seems to be a lot more business travel.”

The airport is ready for the winter months, having taken part in the facility's annual refresher course late last month.

“Our crews are trained and ready to go,” said Hendry.




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