In 2018, the Prince George Airport was busy when it came to aiding or evacuating people affected by the record-breaking wildfire season.
A quieter 2019, factoring a slightly-diving regional economy and the grounding of Boeing 737 Max airplanes, saw a two per cent decrease totalling 496,714 in visitors to YXS.
“The regional economy is impacting our passenger activity, however, we remain optimistic heading into 2020,” says Gordon Duke, President and CEO of the Prince George Airport Authority (PGAA), in a release.
“Comparable airports across Canada saw similar decreases in their passenger numbers in 2019 as airlines had to rework their networks to make up for the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft earlier in the year, which meant aircraft availability was stretched thin to make up for it.”
This report marks the lowest number of visitors in three years, but it's also the third-highest passenger traffic rating in the last six.
More than 506,000 people utilized the YXS Airport in 2018, while 2017 saw 499,125.
Highlights from this past year for the PGAA included the addition of a second daily and Saturday flights to Victoria via Pacific Coastal Airlines and weekly service flights from Air North to Whitehorse, Kelowna and Vancouver.
The Authority says it also spent $11 million in capital improvement projects last year, focusing on safety and operational enhancements on runways and aprons, the long-term parking lot, a new food and beverage cafe and new floors and counters in the Departure Hall.
It adds its goals for 2020 include a new public address system, expanding the taxi parking area and upgrading HVAC systems.
“The Prince George Airport Authority continues to work with our airline partners to increase passenger service and ensure schedules align with peak travel times,” reads today’s (Jan. 15) release.