Passenger Numbers Increase In Oklahoma Airports

Tuesday, October 23rd 2007, 9:34 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Passenger numbers increased at airports in Tulsa and Oklahoma City last month compared to the previous year as people took advantage of new nonstop flights.

Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City boarded 152,607 travelers in September, a 3.99% increase from the year before. Will Rogers' departure loads for the year are up 1.83%.

Tulsa International Airport boarded 132,117 passengers last month, a 4.65% increase from 2006.

"The activity is just really increasing all across the board," said Mark Kranenburg, director of Will Rogers.

Five airlines have launched nonstop service to 10 new destinations this year at Will Rogers including Cleveland, Baltimore and Los Angles. Tulsa International has added seven nonstops this year, contributing to a 1.75% year-to date increase over last year.

This time last year, the Tulsa airport had boarded 1.1 million travelers. That figure is now 1.2 million.

Tulsa International spokeswoman Alexis Higgins said Labor Day travel and homecoming events at local universities helped the airport do well in a month that is usually slow.

"After having such a hectic August, it was quite noticeable that the terminal was less crowded in September," she said. "It was a pleasant surprise to see we had an increase. The local economy is doing very well and our local businesses are traveling more."

Lawton Fort-Sill Regional Airport showed a 7.28% increase in travelers last month.

The increase came despite the fact Lawton lost 88 seats when American Airlines pulled two 44-seat regional jets from the market September 5. The airport hopes American will return the aircraft in the future, and in the meantime city and airport officials are working on luring Delta as its second carrier.