In a recent airport authority board meeting, Airport Director reported to the board that traffic at the new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport was up almost 200% over the traffic at the old Panama City airport during June of 2009. This is great news as traffic is higher than anticipated and surely a shot in the arm to our local economy and shot over the bow of airport nay-sayers.
Outbound traffic June 2010 totaled over 40,000 passengers with well over half using Southwest Airlines. Total traffic, both inbound and outbound totaled over 80,000 in June, nearly tripling the numbers from June of 2009. These numbers best the total traffic numbers of both the Northwest Florida Regional Airport in Ft. Walton AND the Tallahassee Regional Airport.
The 2010 revenue is, at this point, projected to be over $8 million. This number is nearly double the number from 2009, which was just over $4 million. Of course, with increased revenue, the plane load percentages have been up as well with Southwest ringing in at an average 81% occupied per plane and Delta at average 78% occupied per plane.
The daily average offering of seats at the new facility is over 1,800 seats compared to Ft. Walton’s 1,500 seats and Tallahassee’s 1,300 seats. This time last year, the old airport in Panama City only offered a measly 500 seats.
All in all, despite the oil crisis and speculation from new airport opposition, just one month into operations, the new airport is performing better than anticipated and easily out-pacing old numbers and quickly out-pacing the numbers of its competition.