Despite the 416 Fire, Durango-La Plata County Airport saw increased passenger traffic this summer.
The number of arrivals and departures came in at 34,903 for June, a 1.3 percent increase from the same month in 2017; 37,653 in July, a 1 percent increase; and in August 37,435, a 4.6 percent increase.
Year-to-date through Aug. 31, the airport’s passenger numbers have increased 2.1 percent, according to a news release issued by the airport, which operates under the code DRO.
“We were encouraged to see continued growth at DRO despite disruptions to the regional economy as a result of the 416 Fire,” said Tony Vicari, director of aviation. “The airport continued operations through the duration of the fire. Airport staff were proud to safely and efficiently facilitate both emergency firefighting and commercial airline operations at DRO this summer.”
The Durango to Denver route saw a 15 percent increase in passenger traffic during the first quarter of 2018. First-quarter traffic increases of 7 percent between Durango and Dallas and 4 percent between Durango and Phoenix also contributed to increased passenger numbers.
“The Durango to Denver route benefited from some airfare reductions, which it seems hit a sweet spot for some of the people who previously may have driven from Durango to Denver or deferred their travel,” Vicari said. “We also think more people are seeing the time-saving benefits of flying out of DRO instead of tackling a long drive to another airport or even to their ultimate destination.”
Durango-La Plata County Airport saw more than 372,000 passengers in 2017 and is served by American and United airlines.
Nonstop daily flights are offered to Dallas, Fort Worth, Denver and Phoenix. Seasonal flights in the summer are offered to Los Angeles.