Our 2012 passenger numbers are in along with those from competing airports. We've double and triple checked our math and the news is good: our passenger numbers were up in 2012 — the upward movement bucks national and regional trends.
Total passenger numbers were up 2.8%. Things weren't so hot at competing airports: Tulsa was down 2%. Kansas City was down 4%. St. Louis was up 1.1%. Northwest Arkansas was up .60%.
In today's airline climate an airport that finishes the year with growth is happy (to say the least). For the past 18 months the airlines have been cutting seat capacity and the number of flights in the air like crazy. They're doing it in reponse to the lingering affects of the recession and high jet fuel prices. The result is that many airports across the country have seen flat or negative passenger growth. The fact that our numbers were up is a reflection of Southwest Missouri’s strong economy.
The current unemployment rate in the Springfield metropolitan area is 5.4%. Compare that to the national rate of 7.8%. There’s an old rule of thumb in the airline industry — more employment means more people fly.
Passenger numbers weren’t the only thing going up at our airport...
Air freight shipments went up 6.6%. On average North American airports saw flat cargo numbers — up just half a percent. The airports in Kansas City and Tulsa were the only competing airports to see freight growth.
Check out the numbers....
|AIRPORT||TOTAL PASSENGERS 2012||PERCENT CHANGE FROM 2011|
|Kansas City (MCI)||9,896,821||- 4%|
|Northwest Arkansas (XNA)||1,109,917||.60%|
|St. Louis (STL)||12,668,726||1.1%|
|Tulsa (TUL)||2,653,765||- 2%|
Total Air Freight
|AIRPORT||AIR FREIGHT 2012 (lbs)||PERCENT CHANGE FROM 2011|
|Kansas City (MCI)||189,872,059||2.91%|
|Northwest Arkansas (XNA)||55,333,000||- 6.7%|
|St. Louis (STL)||152,580,019||- 0.5%|