Kamloops airport passenger traffic still behind last year - InfoNews

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Kamloops airport passenger traffic still behind last year

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April 19, 2017 - 2:35 PM

KAMLOOPS - The number of air passengers going through the gates at Fulton Field are continuing to lag behind last year.

It’s been nearly a year since the airport saw the number of passengers trend up; during March 2017 roughly 450 fewer passengers came or went from the Kamloops Airport when compared to a year ago. The lower passengers numbers have been consistent since April last year after a strong start to 2017.

In a press release airport manager Fred Legace says the downturn in the oilfields of northern Alberta is still affecting passenger numbers here.

“The year to date numbers reflect a decline over the first two months of the year due to a drop-off in the number of commuting workers between Kamloops and northern Alberta,” he says in the release.

Legace has said on a regular basis fewer people headed to the oil fields has been a reason for fewer overall passengers since the fire in Fort McMurray in May 2016.

The statistics could be worse, but a strong season at Sun Peaks has helped balance out the lack of oil field workers, he says.

Also, while March 2017 was slower than March 2016, it was only a difference of 1.5 per cent, which may be a sign things are evening out, after more significant differences to start off 2017. The early months of 2016 were also quite strong, with flights carrying participants in Hockey Day in Canada and the IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championship.

Total flights are down at the airport as well. Legace says the capacity of some cargo flights has increased, meaning fewer flights are needed.

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