Spokane International Airport’s four-year run of double-digit year-over-year growth was disrupted in 1996, but only slightly.
For the first time in its history, the airport served more than 3 million passengers during a single year. During the year, 3.26 million people got on or off airplanes at Spokane International. That represents a 9 percent increase over 1995’s 2,988,575 total passengers.
Bad weather was largely responsible for the airport’s failure to achieve at least 10 percent annual growth for the fifth straight year.
November was the first month in more than four years that a month’s passenger traffic did not exceed that of the same month a year before. The decline was due to airport disruptions cause by the month’s ice storm.
In December, 280,698 passengers traveled through the airport, only a .76 percent increase over December of 1995.
Airport officials say inclement weather conditions in Portland and Seattle contributed to the cancellation of 199 passenger flights during the months.
Airport officials point out, though, that 1996 did represent the fifth consecutive year of growth in passenger traffic for Spokane International. And from 1990 to 1996, total passenger traffic at the airport grew by 101 percent.
Total cargo handled at the airport in 1996 was up 13.4 percent over 1995.
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