November 29, 2011
By Jolene Craig
WILLIAMSTOWN – The Thanksgiving holiday gave the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport a boost of passengers, an official said.
“We didn’t have a significant increase of enplanements for the holiday,” said airport manager Terry Moore. “But it was busy enough that it was probably the biggest single weekend in November and maybe since (Gulfstream) began service here.”
From Nov. 21 to Nov. 23 and again on Saturday and Sunday the airport was busy, but Thursday and Friday had only five passengers while the planes throughout the rest of the week were nearly full, Moore added.
The load factor for the two Sunday flights was 92 percent, which means that only one seat per flight was empty.
“With how our traffic was, it showed that people came home to visit their families for Thanksgiving and spent the weekend before heading out,” Moore said. “I even saw a toddler getting on a plane today, which is kind of neat because we rarely see kids in the airport.”
With this past weekend, Moore said that the airport has seen 547 passengers for November and expects to break the 600 passenger mark by the end of Wednesday.
“I’m pretty sure we will get 60 more passengers in the next few days,” he said. “We are averaging 20 passengers per day, so I see no problems.”
The Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport is on track to have 8,000 enplanements for 2011, based on the monthly number of passengers.
This number has almost doubled since Gulfstream International Airlines began offering service to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in October 2010.
Airports that have at least 10,000 enplanements per year receive $1 million in federal Airport Improvement Program funds annually, airports with fewer passengers receive $150,000.
The airport has an average load factor of 32 percent, which means that number of seats are filled for all 92 flights between the local and Cleveland airports per month.
“We have the highest load factor in Gulfstream’s northern system,” Moore added.
This month the airline had to cancel two flights due to rain and fog, but have had 100 percent completion factors in past months.
“I don’t think anyone can begrudge them the two canceled flights because the air was soup at the airport,” Moore said.
Following the Thanksgiving travel rush, Moore said he has a better idea of what to expect for the Christmas holidays.
“It will likely be about the same,” he said.
Source: PARKERSBURG NEWS AND SENTINEL