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Ka3kab

Michigan Airport Numbers

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The numbers don't look so good for the airline industry in Michigan so far this year. Through March, the states biggest airports (minus DTW) were down 3.7% from the same time last year. That doesn't sound terrible, but the numbers were already low last year, and we have not yet hit the all important summer tourism season. Take a look at the individual numbers from the states six biggest airports, again no Metro because they have no numbers available yet this year.

Airport Name through 3/2007 through 3/2008 Change

Grand Rapids (GRR) 482,739 464,357 -3.8%

Flint (FNT) 274,821 295,903 7.6%

Lansing (LAN) 130,974 111,516 -3.7%

Kalamazoo (KZO) 93,374 79,115 -15.2%

Saginaw (MBS) 82,945 75,821 -14.8%

Traverse City (TVC) 74,090 70,007 -5.5%

Grand Rapids and Lansing aren't too far off pace from last year, but Kalamazoo and MBS have a long way to go to catch up. Flint is the only one to make a gain, small, but I'm sure they will take it.

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I wouldn't call Flint Bishop's +7% increase small, at all. It seems above average, in fact, for an annual number. There is really only so fast something like an established local industry can gain, and especially in these tough economic times.

Flint Bishop is a promising airport to watch. It's already been growing steadily for a few years now. It's excellently located and convenient for folks not wanting to deal with Metro, on one end of the scale, or for folks not wanting (or not able due to the small size of the aiport) to fly out of a much more limited. With the airline industry in as much trouble as it is, I think this will further contribute to niche airports like Flint Bishop. Along with Metro and Ford International, it's the only other airport in Michigan to log over 1 million passengers. That's pretty impressive for such a small airport.

BTW, Lansing Capital City recently changed it's name to Capital Region International on May 14th to reflect its Port of Entry status which comes with U.S. Customs and Border Protection services. Also, if we are able to get the money out of the Feds we're going to extend our runway to allow bigger jets to land, and eventually a new terminal building (it's needed so badly). We're also applying for a Foreign Trade Zone for the airport lands.

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