Airport Celebrates 70th Year and Record-Breaking Number of Passengers

WILKES-BARRE-SCRANTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -- As the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport marks its 70th anniversary, it's also celebrating a record-breaking month.

More than 24,000 people flew out of the airport in May. Officials said that is the highest number of departing passengers in the airport's 70-year history.

"Airport performance for the month of May was extremely positive. Passenger boardings on a percentage standpoint went up 17.5 percent," airport executive director Carl Beardsley said.

Airport officials said the number of departing passengers in May was especially impressive because May is typically a slow month.

"You're in competition with every other community of similar size when you're going after air service, so you have to learn to be patient, that's a good way of looking at it, but you also have aggressive and make sure you take advantage of your opportunities," Beardsley said.

The airport didn't just have a record-breaking May, it also had a record-breaking April. Officials said part of the reason for their success is that they're getting more fringe customers who decided to come there over other airports.

"We found that some of that the people that have come down here and we surveyed said, 'wow, what a gem. Easy in, easy out. The parking is a lot cheaper than others places like Newark or Philly, and we're coming back,'" former airport director Barry Centini said.

It doesn't matter if you're from the area or just passing through.

"I live in Nanticoke and it's just easier for me to come here to the Avoca airport than it is to go to Philadelphia. There's so much hassle when you go to the larger airports," Kristen Durso said.

"I came here for business and I've been here for two weeks. I'm headed home today. It's been great, love the town and the airport is easy to get in and out of. It's a great place to be," Bill Chamblee of Dallas, TX said.

Airport officials said it brings in nearly $340 million into the local economy every year.

3 comments

  • Frank Rizzo

    It’s too bad they didn’t find a bigger chunk of land to use when they first built this place. An extra mile or so of runway could have really brought in much larger planes and possibly have been used as a hub.

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