Passenger Numbers at YXS Soar
Prince George, B.C. – The Prince George Airport didn’t expect 2016’s passenger numbers to be great, after all, the airport was coming off the 2015 numbers that reflected the impact of visitors during the Canada Winter Games. But the totals are in, and they are very good.
Last year, the Airport saw just over 462 thousand passengers get on and off flights. “We really didn’t expect those kind of numbers” says YXS President and CEO John Gibson “Especially coming off a big year like 2015 with the Canada Winter Games and a slowdown in the economy.”
Gibson says it was November last year which saw the greatest increase in traffic when compared to the same month in 2015. There was an 8% increase in November 2016 passenger numbers compared to November 2015 . “We have no real reason for the increase that month” says Gibson who adds there may have been increased conference activity which helped bump up the numbers. June was also a very good month with a 5% increase in traffic over the same month in the previous year.
“Prince George Tourism, the City, everyone is really doing a great job at marketing Prince George” says Gibson.
Other good news is the recent addition of a five times a week Central Mountain Air flight between Prince George and Dawson Creek, and Gibson says YXS continues to talk with Air Canada, West Jet and charter carriers about other services. “The Puerto Vallarta flight does very well, and we think we could add another sun destination without diluting the Puerto Vallarta flight.” One of the destinations on the radar is Las Vegas “There are a lot of people who go because you can make a three or 4 day trip without taking off a whole week and giving yourself a break.”
There are still some projects at the airport which need to be dealt with, such as Phases 2 and 3 of the repaving program, an upgrade to some customer services (including better access from the lower level parking lot to the terminal) and the replacement of the Emergency Response Vehicle. Gibson says which projects move forward will all depend on the dollars being made available from the Federal Government.
While the passenger numbers continue to climb, Gibson says there is one factor that will remain in a holding pattern “The Airport Improvement Fee is NOT going up.”