2019 was the busiest year in the Springfield airport’s history with 1,187,068 total passengers. That’s an increase of 111,643 passengers (or 10.4% growth) over the previous record year in 2018, and 62% growth since 2011.
“We really appreciate the community supporting our hometown airport and this unprecedented growth reflects the strong local economy,” says airport director, Brian Weiler. “These numbers also help us build a case with airlines for future air service improvements.”
Airlines collectively added 8% more seats into the Springfield market in 2019. With the 10% growth in passengers, the additional seats were purchased and then some. There are indications that the growth will continue — advance airline schedules for this spring show that airlines will increase the number of seats they have available in Springfield by approximately 8%.
Since 2011 the airlines have added non-stop service to Charlotte, Destin/Ft. Walton Beach, and Houston. Several other routes have been upgraded with the use of bigger airplanes, or the addition of more daily flights.
The airport has made several improvements to keep up with the growth, including an expanded restaurant, additional charging stations in the terminal, valet parking, and construction of 750 new parking spots that are now ready for the approaching spring break rush. Improvement projects for 2020 have a heavy emphasis on the parking lots. Plans include a covered pedestrian walkway, electric vehicle charging stations, and LED lighting.
Passenger numbers weren’t the only thing that grew at the airport in 2019 —
Freight moved by cargo airlines FedEx and UPS was up 8% to 32,992,967 pounds.
Take offs and landing were up 9% to 63,159 . A major contributor to the growth of take offs and landings is the flight training program at Ozarks Technical Community College.
A record 9,160,446 gallons of aviation fuel was delivered to the airport, up 15% from 2018.
Four airlines serve Springfield: Allegiant, American, Delta, and United. They provide service to 12 non-stop destinations: Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Charlotte, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Orlando, and Destin/Ft. Walton Beach.