Montgomery airport officials hope merger doesn't affect foot tra - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Montgomery airport officials hope merger doesn't affect foot traffic

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The new airline merger shouldn't hurt Montgomery air traffic anytime soon.

"For at least the next couple years we're probably going to see things remain status quo," says Montgomery Regional Airport Director Phil Perry.

But status quo is hardly what airport Perry wants when it comes to foot traffic.

"We always hoped we would see more traffic."

Perry says the number of flights in and out typically dictates the number of people who use the airport.

If the merger forces either company to pull out of Montgomery, it could reduce the amount of passengers there.

Roughly 400,000 people use Montgomery regional per year.

The number hasn't changed much since 2007 when the airport underwent a $40 million dollar renovation.

"We didn't really expect renovation to necessarily draw more people out," adds Perry.

It didn't draw air carriers either.

Instead, Perry says its purpose was to up the image of what could be visitors' first glimpse of Montgomery.

"Bigger, brighter, more modern," says Perry.

The renovation did more than just give the airport a pretty face. It actually contributed to the overall image of Montgomery. Leaders believe it played a role in landing one of the area's largest employers--Hyundai Motor Manufacturing.

"Frankly that's the secret to international and domestic recruiting, particularly your corporate headquarters," says Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange.

But there's always a need to increase the airport's popularity.

"Get and retain airlines, but how we can get passengers?" adds Strange.

"Take a look at us now," says Perry. 

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