Passenger counts at the Northwest Regional Airport continue to climb as COVID-19 vaccination rates increase and as personal and business travel slowly ramps up.
August 2021 statistics show a passenger count of 18,344, the highest so far of any month this year and substantially more than the 14,676 count of last August.
But even though numbers increased from last year to this year, the August totals are substantially behind the 28,674 people who went through the airport in August 2019.
And the 2021 year to date figure of 85,239 is behind the equivalent period for 2020 as the full weight of the pandemic did not affect passenger totals until March 2020.
Passenger counts in 2021 did not hit the five-figure territory until June of this year when the count reached 11,306, rising to 16,187 in July.
Scheduled service has increased at the airport through Air Canada, WestJet and Central Mountain but does lag behind pre-pandemic levels.
Air Canada has compensated for fewer flights by bringing in a A320 three times a week, an aircraft that can carry more passengers than the Dash 8-Q 400 it traditionally uses.
The monthly passenger counts are those for scheduled flights only and do not include people arriving or departing via charter services.
Charter service this year has been dominated by the workforce for the LNG Canada project at Kitimat that is ferried in and out according to shift change schedules.
Passengers on these aircraft use a separate building adjacent to the main terminal.