Editorial: Airport Improvement

Editorial          Airport Improvement              8-14-08

For the third month in a row, Montgomery's Regional Airport outperformed the national average in on time arrivals and departures.

That's big.  What had been a huge issue with passengers is now a huge plus.

Not coincidentally, 400 more passengers flew into and out of Montgomery this July compared to last July.

The new Civic Center and Renaissance Hotel has certainly contributed to the positive numbers, which year to date, show about 7,000 less passengers than last year, just a 3% drop.   In today's climate, that's impressive as many airports are experiencing double digit passenger losses.

In two weeks, the airport will lose Continental as a carrier, about 10% of current passenger traffic.

That creates an opportunity for more air traffic to funnel from here to Memphis.

And with the pending merger of Northwest and Delta creating the world's largest airline, it is not inconceivable in a few years for direct flights to Cincinnati or Detroit to be added here.

In two months, construction will begin on a new customer service center at the airport, which should entice more people to choose to fly from here.

The River Region is poised for greater growth and it is imperative that the airport help fuel it.