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February traffic down at HIA; Sunburst Restaurant to be demolished

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For the second month in a row, wintry weather kept February passenger traffic down at Harrisburg International Airport in Lower Swatara Township.

The Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority reported Wednesday that February traffic was down 3.4 percent year over year. During the month, 87,368 total passengers used the facility. Traffic is down 3.6 percent for the year, with 176,060 travelers having used the facility, SARAA said in a news release.

"During the month of February, airlines canceled more than 35,000 flights nationwide due to winter weather," said SARAA board member Timothy Tate. "Even though flights were nearly 83 percent full — a new monthly record — flight cancellations resulted in a 7 percent decline in available seats for sale.

"Even with the January and February decline in traffic, should we see a typical March, first-quarter 2014 passenger traffic will be near budgeted projections," Tate added.

In other news, the SARAA board approved a $176,240 contract with Schlegel Excavating Inc. of Millmont, Union County, to demolish the former Sunburst Restaurant.

"The removal of this building is another positive step in the future development of 23 acres owned by the airport authority along Route 230," Tate said. "We look forward to completing this project by the end of summer 2014."

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