What are those Maine license plates doing in the Fredericton Airport parking lot?
That’s right – the Fredericton International Airport is now seeing Maine plates popping up in the long-term parking lot – a far cry from the historical trend of Frederictonians travelling across the border for flights.
Fredericton International Airport Authority (FIAA) President and CEO, Johanne Gallant, says that “better prices, more flights, friendly staff, and the current exchange rate are combining to make flying from Fredericton more attractive than ever.”
That’s certainly backed up by the numbers: July saw a 15 per cent year-over-year increase in passengers, continuing a strong upward trend started in May. As of the end of July, passenger numbers are up 7.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2014.
“We’ve had three record-breaking years in a row, and those were with annual increases around three to five per cent. So the 20 per cent increase we saw in May was significant, and to see that performance continue in June and July really shows that our community is increasingly aware of Fredericton’s competitive pricing and additional flights,” Gallant points out.
“We were confident that Fredericton had the demand to support two air carriers, but even our most optimistic projections have been surpassed.”
The airport, which was already 50 per cent over capacity in 2014, saw a record 35,500 passengers in July, making its planned terminal expansion more critical than ever. The expansion is being designed to accommodate the expected growth over the next 20 years, and will provide more efficient flow for passengers checking in and dropping off baggage, additional space, improved food service area, and space to allow an extra security line to reduce waits.
The trend of more and more passengers flying in and out of the Fredericton International Airport shows no signs of slowing down, and the airport authority is working to ensure the passenger experience continues to improve as well – whether those passengers are locals returning home, investors arriving in New Brunswick’s capital city… or Maine residents driving up to catch a flight.