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Northwestern BC airport sets significant records

PASSENGER traffic at the Northwest Regional Airport in 2013 set another record by significantly soaring past 2012's total.

To the end of December 2013, 177,294 passenger movements were recorded, a 27 per cent increase over the 139,193 total for 2012, airport manager Carman Hendry reported today.

He was particularly impressed with December 2013 alone – 18,182 passenger movements compared to 10,710 in December 2012.

“That's a 69.7 per cent increase,” said Hendry. “It was huge. We had a lot of construction workers going out.”

And you'll recall we had some missed flights [in December 2013]. There were some very windy days.”

If the number of passengers using the airport has climbed, so have the number of vehicles being parked at the facility.

We had 581 vehicles in our lot Christmas Eve,” said Hendry.

He's predicting 2014 to be very busy as well based on the Rio Tinto Alcan $3.5 billion Kitimat aluminum smelter reconstruction project now in full swing.

The project workforce was steadily increased over 2013 leading to a scheduled completion later this year.

I still don't think it has peaked,” said Hendry of the project activity.

Airport passenger traffic has been steadily growing as regional economic conditions have improved.

In 2009, the airport recorded 107,996 passenger arrivals and departures, a figure that dropped slightly in 2010 before growing to 120,384 in 2011 and increasing again to 139,193 in 2013.

If 2013 set a record for a calendar year, Hendry has high hopes for a record for the 2013 fiscal year when began April 1, 2013 and ends March 31, 2014.

I'm suggesting we could be at 185,000 [passengers],” he said.

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