Best February ever for airport

Northwest Regional Airport posted its best ever passenger level for a February when 9,536 people passed through the facility.

  • Tue Mar 6th, 2012 6:00am
  • News

Northwest Regional Airport posted its best ever passenger level for a February when 9,536 people passed through the facility.

That figure topped February 2011’s number by nearly 2,000 and the previous best February ever, which was in 2008, by 48 passengers.

The growth reflects an increase in northwestern industrial activity.

Total passenger traffic last year stood at 120,384, the second best year on record, exceeded only by the 122,070 passengers in 2007.

Traffic did dip after that 2007 level to 119,360 in 2008 and further to 107,996 in 2009 and 105,389 in 2010 because of the worldwide recession.

But continuing work on Rio Tinto Alcan’s smelter rebuild in Kitimat, preparations for liquefied natural gas plants in Kitimat, the Northwest Transmission Line running north of Terrace and mining developments north of Terrace began last year to build traffic back up.

Officials this year are predicting a modest increase to 125,000 passengers but a large jump next year as industrial projects are expected to be in full construction.

January was also a strong month when 8,916 passengers went through the airport, a jump of 18 per cent over January 2011’s passenger figure of 7,554.

Passenger choices are increasing as Hawkair has now added a second flight to its Saturday schedule and Jazz is expected to add a fourth daily flight in spring.

“I think both airlines are feeling pretty confident,” said airport general manager Carman Hendry of increasing business in providing Terrace to Vancouver service. “The numbers are looking pretty good.”