HIA has high hopes for Allegiant

Airport: Budget carrier expected to see record numbers

HIA expects record passenger traffic with Allegiant. - (Photo / Submitted)

Harrisburg International Airport officials are predicting record traffic for budget carrier Allegiant Air this year.

February marked Allegiant Air’s second busiest month at HIA since coming to the airport in 2012, officials said, and they expect the carrier will set new monthly passenger traffic records this summer. 

That’s thanks in part to new routes from HIA, including the recently announced Myrtle Beach, S.C. seasonal service and the Punta Gorda, Fla. flights which kicked off Feb. 18.

Nearly 9,800 passengers flew between HIA and its Florida destinations of Orlando-Sanford, St. Petersburg/Clearwater, and Punta Gorda/Fort Meyers last month, officials said.

Overall, during the month of February, HIA served 80,717 passengers, officials said, a 9.9 percent decrease in overall passengers compared with February 2015.

As CPBJ has previously reported, budget carrier Allegiant is the carrier to watch as HIA looks to rebound from flagging passenger numbers amid troubling industry trends which are finding small- and mid-sized airports losing routes and carriers to bigger hubs.

Frontier Airlines in 2015 left HIA, ending its services to Orlando and Denver.

Las Vegas-based Allegiant has been in expansion mode across the country, including here in the midstate, although not without some growing pains for other aspects of the operation.

Contracts awarded

In other news, $404,915 worth of contracts approved this week by the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority, which oversees HIA, were:

• $93,783 to Rohrer Bus Sales for a shuttle bus.

• $148,356 to Messick’s Farm Equipment for airfield tractor and mower.

• $12,703 to Dauphin DataCom for wireless internet equipment.

• $126,992 to Dauphin DataCo for a telephone system.

• $7,000 to Appalachia Technologies for network backup and disaster recovery services.

• $16,080 to Mountain Top Contracting for lawn maintenance.

“The new purchases include a larger, more comfortable long term parking shuttle bus, upgrades to the free in-terminal Wi-Fi system, a new phone system for our tenants, and an airfield tractor and mower to more efficiently mow approximately 100 acres of grass,” said SARAA Board Chairman Stephen Libhart.

“Regularly replacing aging equipment is part of our on-going commitment to provide an altogether better experience for our customers,” Libhart added.

HIA master plan

The board also approved the final draft version of a master plan for HIA, prepared by California-based Leigh Fisher Consultants.

That document includes items such as mapping and land utilization/development, aviation demand forecast, facility demand/capacity analysis, updated environmental overview, financial and business feasibility analysis, officials said.

The airport’s last master plan was completed in 1999.

Roger DuPuis
Roger DuPuis covers Cumberland County, health care, transportation, distribution, energy and environment. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at rdupuis@cpbj.com.

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