Akron-Canton Airport has posted its fourth-consecutive record year for passenger growth.
Nearly 1.45 million passengers traveled to and from the airport last year, compared with 1.35 million the year before, a 5.6 percent increase.
Airport officials attribute the growth to new flights offered by AirTran Airways and Frontier Airlines, which started service to the West.
Akron-Canton also was the second-fastest growing airport in the nation from 2001 through 2004, based on airplane seating capacity, which increased more than 100 percent, according to U.S. Department of Transportation statistics.
Airport Director Fred Krum said more Northeast Ohio travelers are using the airport. ``We aren't resting on our laurels, though,'' Krum said. ``Akron-Canton is committed to adding new amenities in 2006 that will keep passengers coming back.''
In 2006, the airport will dedicate its new gate concourse, add food-service options and launch a new Web site. The airport is in the final phase of a $60 million, five-year expansion.
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The Thursday event marked the commencement of seasonal nonstop service to Ft. Myers, Fla. Airport director Fred Krum said the AirTran-owned Boeing 717 was four passengers shy of its 117 capacity.
The daily flights, which will be served by the airline's popular Boeing 737 aircraft, will begin January 12, 2006, and run through May 3, 2006.
Community leaders and public officials marked the airport's 60th anniversary and dedicate a new gate concourse.
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