The number of passengers boarding planes at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport increased 4.3 percent last month compared to September 2014.
The increase, from 17,848 to 18,621 passengers, is mainly attributed to American/ U.S. Airways’ additional daily flight to Charlotte, according to airport Director Carl Beardsley.
The airport also offered its first flight to Freeport in the Bahamas in September with more than 170 passengers.
“This is very good news with respect to passenger boarding,” he told the Bi-County Airport Board during a Thursday meeting. “We’ve got additional flights that weren’t offered in the past. Our airfares have been very competitive.”
A second direct flight to Freeport will be offered from Feb. 7-14, Mr. Beardsley said.
The number of people boarding planes in September increased by 1,057, or 6 percent, since September 2013. That increase is mainly attributed to Delta’s equipment upgrade to Atlanta from a Canadair Regional Jet 900 to a Boeing 717 aircraft.
“Seat capacity continues to increase,” he said. “We saw an increase of 9,484 seats in comparison to the same period in 2014. United continues to lead the way. Their seat capacity is up 25 percent. Delta has put into place larger aircraft that they didn’t have in place the previous year.”
In other business, Mr. Beardsley said work on a state police hangar should begin in the spring of next year and take four to six months to complete. The state police hangar will have a fixed-wing aircraft and a helicopter, he said.
The board also approved a change order to increase Leeward Construction Inc.’s contract $341,390.89 from $8,637,016.94 to $8,978,407.83 to extend a taxiway.
A mine void collapsed while a crew was working on the site, said Stephen Mykulyn, director of engineering. An investigation was conducted to determine the extent of mine voids and the area was backfilled, he said.