Along with $20 Million Announcement, NCWV Airport also Manages to Set Historic Passenger Marks

By Jeff Toquinto on August 19, 2019 via Connect-Bridgeport.com

Hidden amidst the hoopla of Gov. Jim Justice’s recent announcement that $20 million in grant and loan dollars is likely on the way to the North Central West Virginia Airport was a brief mention of a record. Actually, there were several records, and they all came in the month of July.
 
According to NCWV Airport Director Rick Rock, he mentioned during his comments the airport was coming off a record month with more than 6,000 enplanements. Deputy Director Shaw Long said according to their records, which go back several decades, that is the most enplanements ever in a single month.
 
The actual number was 6,103; a jump of nearly 1,000 passengers from June when 5,247 individuals flew out of Bridgeport. Rock said it’s the result of several factors.
 
“I think it points to the fact that all the things we’ve been striving for have come to fruition. If you have a plan and the right partners and work to provide a great customer experience, good things happen. I think June (5,247 passengers) and July have proven that.
 
“We have momentum right now and it’s showing,” said Rock. “Add to that the $20 million the governor announced, and things are going pretty well. The thing is, we know that we can’t rest on this. We have to keep working.”
 
Here’s where the additional records come in. Long said the Allegiant and United totals are also the single highest ever at the airport for any month. Allegiant had 4,010 passengers and the daily flight service by United had 2,093.  There were no charter flights.
 
“To get past 4,000 with Allegiant and 2,000 with United is pleasing,” said Rock. “It’s good to look at that and it’s good to feel good for a few minutes, but time marches on. What it does show for the long term is the vibrancy of the North Central West Virginia. We keep showing that we can have large numbers on flights here and because of that we’ll keep working to bring in more flights. Having these numbers help.
 
"I'm always asked about new flights, and all I can say is that we keep trying to acquire them," Rock continued. "I can't emphasize enough how much having big numbers like this helps when a pitch is made."
 
Numbers will drop when the August figures are complete. And it has nothing to do with anything the airport is doing wrong. Likely until Allegiant renews for another year, the Myrtle Beach flights are complete. The Orlando flights are also down for their regular break, but they resume when October begins.
 
Helping fill a bit of the void with Allegiant down for a month and a half will be charter flights by college teams. West Virginia University football, as well as most of their foes, utilize the NCWV Airport to boost numbers. Other sports teams from WVU also fly out during the year.
 
“Outside of Charters, we’ll have United as our only carrier for the next 45 days,” Rock said Friday. “Having daily service to Chicago and Washington, D.C. help us out tremendously. It’s still going to be busy.”
 
Currently, the airport has 26,566 passengers through seven months. With five months remaining it looks that barring something unforeseen the goal of shattering last year’s record mark of 38,296 and reaching 50,000 passengers is possible.
 
Editor's Note: Top photo shows an Allegiant flight boarding, while bottom photo shows a United Express flight taking off. NCWV Airport Director Rick Rock is shown in the middle.


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