2014 was the fourth busiest year in the 69-year history of our airport. The total passenger count for the year: 846,324. That’s a 12% increase in passengers when compared to the year before.
Not only was 2014 one of the airport’s best years, it’s the best year we've had since the beginning of the recession. And it’s a strong indication that the local and national economies are improving.
The success of 2014 comes after several years of gloomy news in the airline and airport industries. The last time we had double digit growth was before the recession — in 2005. And for the past five years passenger numbers have been flat or negative ...
During the recession, and in its aftermath, airlines made big cuts at airports across the country and Springfield was no exception. In 2011 alone the airlines cut the supply of seats here by 21.5%. Since then supply has been flat. And that’s where we're bucking the trend ...
Airlines are actually bringing seats back to Springfield because they see strong demand here. In 2014 the airlines increased our number of available seats by 5.3%. Nationwide, airlines added 1.8%.
Will double digit passenger growth continue in 2015?
It’s doubtful — double digit growth isn’t the norm at any airport. In 2014 the airlines basically figured out that they’d cut too much in Springfield. So they spent the year putting seats back in the market. That helped grow our passenger numbers.
The airlines are bringing even more seats to Springfield in 2015. Advance schedules show a 4.5% increase for the first half of the year. Nationwide, the supply of seats will be up 1.8%.
That local increase is further evidence that the Springfield air market is stable and getting stronger.