Air passenger traffic grows at record level

Traffic at Northwest Regional Airport in Terrace reflects economic activity

PASSENGER traffic at Northwest Regional Airport dropped in September compared to August but still came in as the third highest monthly total for the year to date.

Statistics from the airport indicate a passenger count of 16,476 in September, down from August’s all time record of 18,026.

Still, the September figure was just behind July’s 16,597 and that month and August are traditionally high travel months for holiday and business travel.

We’re getting a lot of traffic with the Rio Tinto Alcan [smelter] project in full swing and with other industrial activity,” said airport manager Carman Hendry.

We’re on track for 30 per cent more traffic for each month now compared to last year.”

As of the end of September, the passenger traffic count was 126,236, more than the entire total for any year save for last year when the total was 139,193.

Based on traffic patterns this year, the end of October figure should eclipse 2012’s year-end total.

Hendry’s predicting a 2013 year-end total passenger count of 165,000, enough to propel the airport into the top ranks of B.C. airports when it comes to passenger traffic.

In the meantime, equipment for WestJet’s entry into the Terrace-Vancouver market the end of November has started to arrive.

The airline has also rented space in a building next to the main terminal for equipment storage.