Things are looking up at the Grande Prairie Airport, where there was a traffic increase in April and May for the first time in nearly two years.
The last time that happened was in August 2015.
April saw a 6.9 per cent spike while May’s was 5.5 per cent.
“As the economy improves, we start to kind of see the effect of that. Air traffic typically lags behind the economic situation,” said Lauren Levay, Marketing and Business Development Manager at the Grande Prairie Airport. “We’re seeing an increase in traffic because it is closely tied to the economy.”
It’s up to airlines and not the airport to add or increase flights, but if this trend continues that is certainly a possibility down the road.
“Basically, our job is to track some of the stats and make a case for increasing flights and service to certain destinations, and that sort of thing. We’re always advocating for increased flights, but it’s definitely up to the airlines. We definitely boon well for that, since we are seeing an increase,” explained Levay.
Aside from the traffic increase, according to Levay, the airport will soon begin work on a Master Plan that will outline the next quarter-century of operations.
“That’ll be developed in the next few months here,” she said. “The Master Plan will indicate the best way to spend the Airport Improvement Fee, basically, over the next 25 years… The Airport Improvement Fee goes to anything from runway extensions, terminal upgrades or renovations, things like that.”
Levay adds airport traffic is still nowhere near 2014 levels, but the upward trend suggests that might be in the not too distant future.