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Friday, October 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane International Airport breaks record for passengers in 2019

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 22, 2020

Spokane International Airport is receiving a $29.6 economic relief grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. The airport is among 62 in the state to receive funding under the CARES Act enacted to help offset the economic impact of the coronavirus. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Spokane International Airport is receiving a $29.6 economic relief grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. The airport is among 62 in the state to receive funding under the CARES Act enacted to help offset the economic impact of the coronavirus. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Spokane International Airport set a new record for passenger activity in 2019, exceeding more than 4 million travelers for the first time in its history.

It’s the third consecutive year of record-breaking passenger traffic at the airport, which reported a 2.9% increase in passengers flying in and out of Spokane compared with 2018.

Airport officials attribute the growth in passenger traffic to an increase in airline seat capacity and a growing regional economy that has resulted in more demand from business and leisure travelers, according to the airport.

“As the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene region’s economy continues to advance, so does the demand for connectivity to current as well as new destinations,” Ezra Eckhardt, chair of the Spokane Airport Board, said in a statement.

The airport’s busiest month in 2019 was July, with more than 398,300 travelers passing through its gates. The largest increase in year-over-year passengers occurred in December with more than 366,300 passengers, marking a 5.4% increase in passengers over December 2018.

Within the past year, the airport saw the addition of several nonstop routes and has upgraded its terminals, expanded parking and built a 1-mile short rail line connecting the existing Geiger Spur line to airport property, which is expected to spur economic development on the West Plains. Construction of a Springhill Suites by Marriott adjacent to the airport is slated for completion in March.

“While we celebrate a record year of passenger activity in 2019, we are also excited about the benefits to our regional economy of new nonstop service in 2020 including Alaska Airlines service to Los Angeles and San Francisco; Delta Air Lines service to Atlanta and United Airlines service to Houston,” Spokane Airports CEO Larry Krauter said in a statement. “We are grateful for the commitment that our airline partners have made to provide greater and more convenient connectivity to the global economy for our region.”

Spokane International Airport, a more than 6,000-acre commercial service airport served by six airlines and two air cargo carriers, has a $725 million annual economic impact on the region, according to airport officials.

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