LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The holidays have almost come to a close and the Lake Charles Regional Airport has seen a rise in the number of passengers flying out of Southwest Louisiana.
“Generally speaking the entire year we’ve been up in terms of passenger numbers. For the month of November, which of course includes the holiday travel for thanksgiving, we were up 16% in terms of passengers flying out of the airport," Heath Allen, the executive director of the airport, said.
While the year isn’t quite over, Allen said he’s confident they’ll end the year on a strong note.
“While we don’t have the numbers from December just yet, judging by our parking lot, it’s probably going to show a strong increase as well for December," Allen said.
The growth they’ve seen is beneficial for the airport and the Lake Area in more ways than one.
“The number of federal grant money the airport receives is dependent on the number of passengers flying out of this airport. It also represents the impact to the local economy. Passengers, visitors coming in for the holidays, those visitors spending money in the Lake Area, there’s definitely an economic impact," Allen said.
The season may have been a busy one, but one flier says his experience was enjoyable.
“We had a very smooth travel season. We had a connection in Houston we missed but other than that, it was very smooth. Everyone has been very nice, especially here at this airport. It’s been a great trip, looking forward to going home," Geoff Miles said.
“Airplanes can take you to a lot of different places, but the most important is home," Allen said.
Going into 2020, Allen said some of their goals include securing more destinations passengers can fly to and bringing more airlines to Lake Charles.