By Ray Finger
Although there was a dip in Thanksgiving air travel nationally, that was not the case at airports in Chemung, Tompkins and Broome counties.
“The numbers we had were about the same as last year,” said Ann Crook, director of aviation at Elmira Corning Regional Airport. “I saw some reports that air travel was going to be down this Thanksgiving, but actually we didn’t see that here. It was pretty good.”
Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport Manager Robert Nicholas said it was the same there.
“We always fill up every aircraft around Thanksgiving,” Nicholas said. “That’s pretty normal. Our parking lot was chock-a-block.”
The same also was true at the Greater Binghamton Airport, Commissioner of Aviation Carl Beardsley Jr. said.
“We don’t have the exact numbers as of yet. We’ll get those next month,” he said. “But just walking through the terminal building, looking at the ticket counters and our departure lots, I’d think it’s similar to what we’ve seen in the past.”
Meanwhile, activity at Elmira Corning continues to level off from record numbers. Passenger departures totaled 11,789 in October, a decrease of 4 percent compared with October 2011, according to the airport’s monthly report for October. Passenger arrivals totaled 11,365 in October, a decrease of 6 percent compared with October 2011.
“It’s about the same as it’s been looking all year,” Crook said.
Things are still looking good for this holiday season, she said.
“Last year, Allegiant added some extra flights around the holidays. So far this year, I don’t seem them doing that,” she said, referring to the destination of Orlando Sanford International Airport.
Allegiant continues to explore two other destinations in Florida after flights to Fort Lauderdale were discontinued last year, County Executive Tom Santulli said.
“I believe it was Fort Myers and Tampa Bay,” he said. “My understanding was they were leaning toward Tampa Bay. But we’ve not been officially told anything at this point in time.”