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SGF airport activity dips 6% at midyear

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Last edited Oct. 26 at 3 p.m.

Passenger numbers at Springfield-Branson National Airport dipped by 6 percent the first six months of the year, compared to the same time last year.

During January–June, 358,662 passengers flew into and out of the airport, compared to 381,755 the same period in 2009, according to the Research and Innovative Technology Administration of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

“I don’t have any good explanation for it. Likewise, I didn’t have any good explanation for our 4 percent uptick last year,” said Kent Boyd, Springfield airport spokesman.
Boyd said cuts in ticket prices last year were at least part of the reason for the 4 percent spike.

“They were down 20 percent across the board, across the nation,” Boyd said. “I have no doubt that helped us.”

Also, Boyd said, holiday travel should bring higher numbers for the final two months of the year.

“My best guess at this point is that we’ll finish 2 percent to 3 percent down,” Boyd said. “If we finish flat, I’ll be happy.”

All but two months, January and February, experienced passenger-count losses, compared to the same months the year prior. The largest monthly decline was in May, which dropped to 33,576 from 41,000 in 2009.

Total passenger numbers for all U.S. airports for the same period also were down, according to RITA, though only by 1.3 percent. Through June there were 375.6 million passengers nationwide, compared to 380.8 million in 2009.

“When I put it into perspective and look back at 2008, we finished down 12 percent for the year,” Boyd added. “I think I can say without qualification that was our worst year ever since the airport (opened) in 1945. From that perspective, I’m very happy to be where we are.”[[In-content Ad]]


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