Lehigh Valley International Airport Has Huge Month in Passenger Traffic
By Colin McEvoy on May 24, 2019
April was a very good month for the Lehigh Valley International Airport (LIVA).
In April, 83,560 passengers traveled through LVIA, the second-highest single month for the airport total since 2011, and a 27% increase from April 2018, when passenger totals were 65,648.
The airport hasn’t reached 80,000 passengers in the month of April in any given year since 2004, which was the same year it reached 1 million passengers, according to Colin Riccobon, Director of Public & Government Relations for LVIA.
This April also marked the 19th consecutive month of positive passenger growth for the airport dating back to October 2017, according to Thomas R. Stoudt, Executive Director, Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority (LNAA).
“It’s a combination of many factors,” Stoudt said. “Certainly, the start of twice-daily service to Chicago aboard American Airlines produced a lot of momentum, plus we noticed a travel surge with people taking advantage of spring break for some rest and relaxation.”
American Airlines reported a total passenger increase of 53.3%, followed by Allegiant Air up 25%, Delta Airlines jumped 17%, and United Airlines increased 4.3%, Riccobon said.
Stoudt said excitement continues building at the Hanover Township, Lehigh County-based airport with the impending arrival of seasonal service to Nashville in May and Savannah/Hilton Head in June aboard Allegiant.
“We remain focused on improving the passenger experience ahead of the busy summer travel season as critical escalator/elevator repairs are underway, coordination for additional parking spaces, and the completion of paving of the Runway 6-24 intersection during a recent airport closure in early May has us breathing easier,” Stoudt said.
LVIA plays has a pivotal role and impact on regional economic development in the Lehigh Valley, according to Matthew Tuerk, LVEDC Vice President of Economic Development and Marketing.
Transportation resources are also an important resource for site selectors and businesses considering where to locate a building or expansion.
Nationally, the aviation industry employs 508,000 employees in air transportation, 154,000 in airport operations, and 430,000 in aircraft, aircraft engine, and aircraft parts manufacturing as of the end of 2018, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics and JobsEQ.
In the Lehigh Valley, there are 523 people employed in air transportation, 297 in airport operations, and 78 in aircraft, aircraft engine, and aircraft parts manufacturing, according to George Lewis, LVEDC Director of Research and Analytics.
A past Area Development survey found accessibility to a major airport is considered important or very important to more than 44% of responding site selectors, more important than corporate tax rates, union presence, and energy availability and costs.
Having a regionally-based airport like LVIA is also helpful for foreign direct investment in the Lehigh Valley. When companies based overseas are seeking places in the United States for investment, it is critically important that they have quick access to their facilities via airports, Tuerk said.
LVIA’s nonstop destinations include Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Myrtle Beach (seasonal), Nashville (seasonal), Newark, Orlando, Philadelphia, Punta Gorda, Savannah/Hilton Head (seasonal), and Tampa Bay.
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