November 29, 2014
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Green Airport traffic drops 7.37% for June

While the economy continues to have an impact on traffic at Green Airport, updates to the instrument landing system also played a factor in the 7.37 percent decline in passenger traffic for the month of June, said Peter Frazier, interim director of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation.

Statistics show a 25,745-decline in passengers for the month for a total of 323,716 departing and arriving passengers. This puts the year-to-date totals at 1.79 million passengers as compared to 1.85 million as of June 2011, a 3.43 percent drop. Frazier said work on the instrument landing system interrupted some traffic.

Southwest continued to be Green's largest carrier with 162,552 passengers for the month, a 5.37 decline from June of last year. US Airways with 37,267, a 23.30 percent decline from 2011, was the airport's second largest carrier.

Frazier said RIAC is playing a consistent role in seeking to retain its share of the market.

“We do our part by making an affordable, convenient airport,” he said. And comparatively speaking, he added, “we’re doing well in light of the economy.”

His comparisons are other regional airports like those in the Los Angeles area that are losing traffic to LAX.

He said airline activity “gravitates to the center of where the people are.” To keep its share, Frazier said Green must maintain low-cost parking and efficient airport operations.

“There has been good management,” he said of the airport, “the prices [for the airlines] haven’t gone up.”

With last month’s announcement that JetBlue will start service at Green in late November with three daily flights to the Florida market, Frazier is optimistic of seeing a bump in traffic. JetBlue’s service will increase Green’s capacity by 450 airline seats a day.

That alone would not appear to be enough to turn around what appears to be another year in passenger declines for Green. For based on the six-month totals, passenger traffic that once approached 6 million annually will drop below 4 million this year.

When the economy rebounds, Frazier feels that Green will benefit from the infrastructure improvements made at this time and will be well positioned to grow.

“I think we’re holding our own in a tough economy,” he said. “We’re all in this together.”


Comments
7 comments on this item

This drop in passenger counts hurt the airport's bottom line to the tune of $4.5 million dollars per year versus what it would have been if passenger counts recovered after the big losses. The problem is even bigger because the concept of the runway extension was based on a $3 per passenger increase in ticket fees that did not happen. That would have added another $6 million in revenues if passenger counts had not dropped. But, RIAC never recognized these problems in its future plans.

CAN'T WAIT FOR THEM TO BREAK GROUND ON THE PROJECT!

Too bad you can't wait cause it is going to be years before they can scrape up the cash to extend the runway - if ever.

no you are wrong. I'd like to see one article get posted on the beacon without your comment. Hence why I'm going to comment every time to counter your propaganda. But, I think most people know what you're about so they don't even give your comments any thought

money can always be found if worthy causes. bythe money is there both state, local, and federal levels... just have to put it all together and make it happen....

trillions have been spent on wars, stimulus packages, unemployment, etc... yet, projects like this that will create jobs, stimulate the state and local economy have taken years to go forth. Why? "not in my backyards" like you!

Michael2012: You mention state and local money for extending Green's main runway. Have you ever gone to a Warwick City Council budget hearing? Why don't you write a letter to the Beacon suggesting that the taxpayers of Warwick pony up to this "great economic development" opportunity and lay out some of its cash for the project. At the state level, I have not seen you at the annual RIAC hearing. Now that Kevin Dillon is gone it may not be as entertaining as in the past. But the fact remains RIAC never brings up the topic of spending taxpayer funds for airport development. Perhaps you should. That would liven up the conversation a little. Last but not least perhaps you should try to gather up some congressional support for an earmark to extend the runway. You could go on talk radio to suggest the same. Not even Kevin Dillon or the RIAC board has tried that one.

Instead of all that -- perhaps you should call on RIAC to have open hearings about whether the airlines will agree to pay for this project. The various airlines could be invited to come in -- like local business people do when they want an infrastructure improvement. Sakonnet River Bridge was a good example of that. It was really needed and local business users turned out to support it. But no airlines showed up for the environmental hearings. In fact the only actual businesses that showed up were the local hotels. Everybody else was a surrogate -- a paid mouthpiece for God knows what. You never saw the Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce coming in to claim a need. Never.

The fact is that there is no political will to fund this project with taxpayers' money. If that money were available, the runway would be built by now. You talk about NIMBIES and put me in that catagory. Not true. I am a fiscal conservative who reminds our leaders that there is no political will for this project because it does not make any fiscal sense.

Michael has the mindset of what is going wrong in Rhode Island...

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