2014: A Very Good Year

2014: A Very Good Year

2014 was the fourth busiest year in the 69-year history of the Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF). The total passenger count for the year: 846,324. That’s a 12% increase in passengers when compared to the year before.

“Not only was 2014 one of the airport’s best years, it’s the best year the airport’s had since the beginning of the economic recession,” says Brian Weiler, director of aviation. “It’s a strong indication that the local and national economies are improving.
Every month of 2014 showed strong growth with July and September leading the way: July passenger numbers were up 13.5%. September registered growth of 16.3%.

The success of 2014 comes after several years of gloomy news in the airline and airport industries.

“The airport’s passenger numbers have been flat or negative for the past five years,” says Kent Boyd, airport marketing director. “The last time we had double digit growth was in 2005.”

During the recession, and in its aftermath, airlines made big cuts at airports across the country and SGF was no exception. In 2011 alone the airlines cut the supply of seats at SGF by 21.5%. Since then supply has been flat. “And that’s where we’re bucking the trend,” says Boyd. “Airlines are actually bringing seats back to our market because they see strong demand here.” In 2014 the airlines increased the number of available seats at SGF by 5.3%.” Nationwide, airlines added 1.8%.

Will double digit passenger growth continue in 2015?
“It’s doubtful — double digit growth isn’t the norm at any airport,” says Weiler. “In 2014 the airlines basically figured out that they’d cut too much in Springfield. So they spent the year putting seats back in the market. That helped grow our passenger numbers.”

The airlines are bringing even more seats to Springfield in 2015. Advance schedules show a 4.5% increase for the first half of the year. Nationwide, the supply of seats will be up 1.8%.

“That local increase is further evidence that the Springfield air market is stable and getting stronger,” says Weiler.

Other airport metrics improved in 2014: the amount of aviation fuel pumped at the airport grew by 7.6%. It’s the first fuel increase since 2011.

Additionally, the number of aircrafts fueled grew by 4.2%. That’s the first increase since 2006.

Four airlines serve Springfield: Allegiant, American, Delta, and United. They provide service to ten non-stop destinations: Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Orlando, and Ft. Myers.

Rank

Year

Total Passengers

 

 

 

#1

2005

888,738

#2

2007

883,893

#3

2006

864,999

#4

2014

846,324

#5

2009

811,771

#6

2010

796,251

#7

2008

779,995

#8

2013

755,773

#9

2012

752,214

#10

2011

731,395