Tulsa Airport passenger traffic lags '09 pace

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Sept. 22--Airline passenger traffic continues to lag the pace of 2009 at Tulsa International Airport, but commercial aircraft activity is up in the first eight months of the year.

In August, 238,874 passengers flew commercial aircraft at the airport, down 3.96 percent from August 2009.

In the first eight months of the year, 1.84 million people boarded or deplaned commercial aircraft at Tulsa International, a 2.2 percent decline from last year, officials said.

In August, the airlines serving Tulsa operated 6,068 seats a day, a 1.4 percent decrease compared with the 6,156 seats a day they operated in 2009, said Alexis Higgins, director of marketing for the Tulsa Airport Authority.

During the last year, airlines have dropped service to some cities, added service to others and switched aircraft serving Tulsa, Higgins said.

Delta Air Lines dropped its single flight a day to Cincinnati, but it added one flight a day to Salt Lake City for twice-daily service, Higgins said.

Frontier Airlines dropped its twice-daily service to Denver, but Southwest Airlines replaced one of those flights with daily service.

United Airlines added one flight a day to Chicago O'Hare International Airport. American Airlines replaced a full-sized jet with a regional jet on one of its daily flights to O'Hare, Higgins said.

Commercial aircraft operations

- a landing or a takeoff -- at Tulsa International totaled 2,664 in August, up 7.7 percent from August 2009.

Although air taxi and general aviation aircraft operations dropped 8.2 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively, in August, military aircraft operations totaled 2,113, up 39.8 percent from August 2009.

In the first eight months of 2010, there were 19,614 commercial aircraft operations at Tulsa International, a 10.7 percent increase compared with the same period last year.

Air taxi operations dropped 13.6 percent in the first eight months while general aviation aircraft operations plunged 19.5 percent and military aircraft operations slipped 5.76 percent compared with the same period a year ago.

Air cargo shipments totaled 4,774 tons in August at Tulsa International, a 3.4 percent decrease compared with August 2009. In the first eight months, air cargo shipments totaled 36,588 tons, a 4.6 percent decline from a year ago.

Parking revenue, the largest nonairline revenue source at Tulsa International Airport, was $607,486 in August, down 0.9 percent from August 2009. Parking revenue in the first eight months was $4.64 million, a 3.1 percent decline from the first eight months last year.

D.R. Stewart 581-8451

don.stewart@tulsaworld.com

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