The Roanoke Regional Airport Commission is pleased to announce that passenger traffic increased by 1.95% for the calendar year 2016 over 2015, the increase resulted in 608,288 passengers using the airport in 2016. The growth translated to an increase of 11,617 passengers over the 596,671 who used the facility in 2015. The increase in passenger traffic was the first increase since 2011.
The airport began experiencing positive trends in passenger boardings in September 2016 and continued through December. These trends are attributed to several factors, increases in larger aircraft, lower fares and more reliable service. The service the airlines provided over the fourth quarter of 2016 was dramatically more reliable than the past several years. During the fourth quarter of 2016, the percentage of cancelled flights decreased by 50% from the previous year.
Also, over the past year, capacity to Atlanta has increased as the size of aircraft serving the airport changed from a fleet of all 50-seat Canadair Regional Jets to a mix of regional jets and larger mainline aircraft with first class service, such as the 126-seat Airbus A319. In addition, the business fares from the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport have decreased, becoming more comparable to other airports in the region. During the third and fourth quarters of 2016, the average fare to the top 25 destinations from ROA was down between 6% and 9%.
“We feel the efforts of the Commission are beginning to bear fruit with more seats, lower fares and improved reliability and has played a significant role in the increase of passengers using the facility,” stated Tim Bradshaw, A.A.A.E., executive director of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission. Bradshaw went on to say, “Not only have we been working with our airline partners, but we have also spent a good deal of time promoting the services we have available at ROA to all our stakeholders in the region.”
The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport is the primary airport for Virginia’s Blue Ridge. ROA serves over 600,000 passengers per year via four airlines with nonstop service to eight hub cities. To learn more, please visit www.flyroa.com.