The Columbia Metropolitan Airport isn’t quite back to the 10-year passenger record it set in 2019, but 2022 was the first year that it welcomed more than 1 million passengers since the start of …
The Columbia Metropolitan Airport isn’t quite back to the 10-year passenger record it set in 2019, but 2022 was the first year that it welcomed more than 1 million passengers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The airport, located in West Columbia, announced that a total of 1,063,630 passengers, including one-way ticket holders, made their way through the airport last year. That number includes both people who enplaned and disembarked in Columbia.
The airport reported 527,599 enplanements during 2022.
The more than 1 million passengers seen last year represents a roughly 21% increase over the 877,806 the airport reported for 2021. That increase is pretty much in line with the roughly 23% increase (from 579,568,002 to 754,788,607) in passengers the Transportation Security Administration reported passing through security checkpoints nationwide.
The West Columbia airport continues to rebound from the dip it saw in 2020, when it reported 577,187 passengers.
“The consistent year-over-year growth in passenger traffic CAE has had since 2020 has been welcomed,” Mike Gula, the airport’s executive director, is quoted in a release. “We are thankful for the ongoing support of this community in utilizing this airport. With the sustained increase in passenger traffic, CAE will be positioned to see additional air service in 2023, as well as infrastructure and in-terminal updates and expansions that will make traveling through the airport that much easier for our valued passengers.”
According to the release, the airport “saw a significant spike in passenger traffic in the summer months of 2022 – with June seeing 103,686 passengers, July seeing 100,656 passengers and August seeing 94,864 passengers respectively – CAE had roughly 299,200 passengers through the airport during this specific time period. By way of comparison, during those same months in 2021, CAE saw roughly 259,600 passengers – a 15.24% increase year over year for June, July and August.”
The airport continues its push to add back more direct flights in the wake of its pandemic downturn, with American Airlines announcing the return of nonstop service to New York in December, with flights set to resume in May. Delta Air Lines is already offering New York flights, and the airport also offers nonstop service to Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, and Washongton, D.C.
“Our ongoing air service efforts have paid off as we see an increase of air service options for our passengers,” Kim Crafton, the airport’s director of marketing and air service development, is quoted. “Increasing routes and nonstop destinations is always a top priority for our team. Additionally, we have had a number of positive conversations with several low-cost carriers that will hopefully come to fruition in 2023 for CAE and the Columbia community.”
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