Archive for Friday, February 14, 2003

KCI air traffic drops nearly 15 percent

February 14, 2003

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— Passenger numbers at Kansas City International Airport dropped off by almost 15 percent in 2002, the airport's worst decline in more than a decade.

Officials blamed the drop on a slumping economy and the collapse of discount carrier Vanguard Airlines, which was based at KCI.

They also acknowledge the passenger decline is troublesome, especially with a looming threat of war with Iraq that could further hurt the aviation industry. But the airport remains financially stable, they said.

About 9.8 million passengers either departed or arrived at KCI in 2002, a 14.8 percent drop from 2001, according to recently released passenger data from the Kansas City Aviation Department.

The number of boardings -- another significant measurement because they generate user fee revenue for the airport -- was close to 5.2 million, an 11.4 percent decrease from 2001.

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