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Augusta Regional sets passenger record

Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 10:03 AM
Last updated Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012 3:21 AM
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An increase in traffic for all three major airlines that fly into Augusta Regional Airport resulted in a record-setting year for passengers.

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Damone Newsom, of Newnan, Ga., leaves Augusta Regional Airport. Airport traffic increased in 2011 despite the disruption of runway construction.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Damone Newsom, of Newnan, Ga., leaves Augusta Regional Airport. Airport traffic increased in 2011 despite the disruption of runway construction.

According to airport data, 541,836 passengers flew in and out of Augusta in 2011, beating 2010’s record-setting mark by 9 percent.

“It is really gratifying to have another record-breaking year,” said Gary LeTellier, the airport’s executive director. “Fares remain extremely competitive, and reliability continues to be very strong at Augusta Regional Airport.”

LeTellier said airport traffic increased despite the disruption caused by runway construction.

Delta had 15,117 more passengers in 2011 than the year before. US Airways was up by 14,957, according to airport data.

Some of the credit for setting the record goes to American Eagle’s full year of service instead of half a year of service in 2010.

The airline, however, will cease Augusta flights next week as part of the bankruptcy proceedings by its parent company.

The back-to-back record-setting years come just five years after one of the lowest points in airport history. In 2006, only 275,723 travelers used the airport. The lowest annual traveler count in the past 30 years was in 1982, with 271,048 passengers, according to airport statistics.

“The low fares, great service and convenience of AGS provide area residents with strong reasons to fly from Augusta. We look for continued success in 2012,” LeTellier said.

Reliability for the three airlines was high for completed flights and in the 80 percent range for on-time departures.

TOTAL PASSENGERS OUT OF AUGUSTA

                                                             2010       2011      CHANGE

Delta/Atlantic Southeast Airlines 280,419  295,536    +15,117

US Airways Express                          177,735  192,692    +14,957

American Eagle                                  30,467    49,228    +18,761

Charters                                                7,580     4,380      -3,200

Total                                                   496,201   541,836   45,635

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Fools_and_sages
360
Points
Fools_and_sages 01/25/12 - 10:54 am
0
0
Low fares?! 80% on-time
Unpublished

Low fares?! 80% on-time departures? Yeah. Right. The fares are as expensive as they were 4 years ago. I paid $349 to fly out of Augusta for Christmas in 2008. In 2009, I flew out of Columbia for $269. In 2010 and 2011, I paid $349 to fly out of Augusta. Columbia's prices finally increased to the same level as Augusta, so Augusta's prices didn't go down. Competitor's prices rose. I fly to a major metro area up north for Christmas, so the prices shouldn't be so high. Flights in and out of Augusta are also late on a regular basis and every time I fly out of Augusta (on Delta or US AIR) I nearly miss my connections. This isn't Augusta's fault as much as the blame belongs to Delta and US Air because they apparently don't care if Augusta gets their planes on time. Baggage claim at Augusta often takes 20 to 30 minutes to get your bags too. That really shouldn't be an issue since they rarely have more than one SMALL plane arriving at once. In short, Bush Field is not a great facility, the fares are high, and the service is mediocre at best. Augusta is only cost-effective because Columbia's prices increased by nearly 30% while Atlanta is too far away and their parking rates are too high.

usafveteran
32
Points
usafveteran 01/25/12 - 11:50 am
0
0
Interesting that the article

Interesting that the article shows a photograph of an airline that will no longer fly into Augusta starting next week. This makes the second airline that has left Augusta since I've moved here. Shame that there's really no non-stop flights now if you want to head west and beyond.

I still wonder when the airport is going to fly a state flag at the airport. If they receive state funds, they should fly the state flag!

countyman
21623
Points
countyman 01/25/12 - 12:25 pm
0
0
Augusta continues to have one

Augusta continues to have one of the fastest growing airports in the US.. Cities need to have growing airports in order to attract new industry. Delta main line service returned May 2011, thousands of new parking spaces, $14 million runway renovation, $5 million FBO building, new road General Perry Smith Pkwy, restaurant/bar, coffee shop, gift shop today, etc..

The airport needs to work on attracting additional direct flights and logistic/aviation companies to the nearby land..

Fools_ Sages... The prices at Augusta Regional are often cheaper than Columbia, and sometimes even Atlanta... Augusta Regional is growing much faster compared to the airport in Columbia..

Usafveteran.. Both American Airlines and Continental filed for bankruptcy, and had nothing to do with the local market... I haven't heard anything about directs flights to the west coast, but New York and DC have been mentioned by airport officials..

Riverman1
93279
Points
Riverman1 01/25/12 - 12:36 pm
0
0
Oh, goody Countyman is

Oh, goody Countyman is posting again. It's nice to see the positive view. My concern with the airport is that it's not the quality of the airport, itself, as other cities learned, but it's the type population served by the airport that determines its success. Richmond Cty has such a low per capita income, the airport depends on Ft Gordon, Columbia Cty and Aiken Cty populations for business.

Joseph Diggs Sr
0
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Joseph Diggs Sr 01/25/12 - 01:27 pm
0
0
THE AUGUSTA REGIONAL AIRPORT

THE AUGUSTA REGIONAL AIRPORT DOES A VERY GOOD JOB AND IN MY OPINION IS A CUSTOMER FRIENDLY PLACE TO DO BUSINESS. THE EMPLOYESS ACT AND ATTENTION TO THEIR JOBS IS IN MY OPINION A DIRCT REFLECTION ON LEADERSHIP,SUPERVISORS DURING THEIR JOBS IN A PROFESSIONAL MANNER. THE DIRECTOR OF BUSH FIELD,AUGUSTA REGIONAL SHOULD FEEL PROUD,GOOD WORK AND GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

countyman
21623
Points
countyman 01/25/12 - 01:32 pm
0
0
The positive view is the

The positive view is the truth according to the FAA.. Augusta is by far one of the fastest growing airports in the US...

Aiken and Columbia help contribute to the success, but Augusta Regional doesn't rely on them.. The population of Richmond County is much larger than both, and the majority of Fort Gordon is located in Richmond County... The business travelers are coming to Richmond County, and not the suburban counties.. The Masters is held every year in West Augusta... In every city across america the suburban counties use the airport...

Richmond County per capita income is comparable to it's regional peer cities... I think most developers look at median income over per capita anyway...

Riverman1
93279
Points
Riverman1 01/25/12 - 01:42 pm
0
0
Median or per capita income,

Median or per capita income, Richmond County is much, much lower than Columbia County.

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 01/25/12 - 04:54 pm
0
0
But why did they design it
Unpublished

But why did they design it with the rest rooms at the extreme end of the facility and why is there no cafeteria. P.S. I would rather die of thirst than be robbed by one of the vending machines. Of course some marketing folks believe it is better to make a small profit off low sales rather than a huge profit off of volume. Talking about cost, why are they spending their low profits (if any) on advertising? After all they are the only game in town and savvy people are using the internet for ticket shopping.

Riverman1
93279
Points
Riverman1 01/25/12 - 04:57 pm
0
0
All I know is somebody there

All I know is somebody there owes me 60 bucks for screwing up a ticket price.

seenitB4
96995
Points
seenitB4 01/26/12 - 03:43 am
0
0
I enjoy using the Augusta

I enjoy using the Augusta airport.....compared to Atlanta..it is a breeze...

Just My Opinion
6249
Points
Just My Opinion 01/26/12 - 04:53 pm
0
0
Well, I think I've come to

Well, I think I've come to the right place because there seem to be a few people on here that have experience with this airport! I'm in the process of looking for flight tickets, for my son and I, to go from Augusta to St. Louis. I'd rather fly right out of Augusta, rather than drive to Atlanta, Columbia, or Charlotte. Anyway, the two flights I'm looking at both stopover in Atlanta, layover, and then fly on to St. Louis. Someone mentioned missing flight-connections because of the delay in take-offs from here in Augusta. Well, one of the layovers is for 2.5 hours and the other is for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. I'd rather have the shorter time, but do y'all think that'd be safe enough or should I take the really longer layover, to be sure? Sorry for the personal questions here.

dizzy dictator
109
Points
dizzy dictator 01/27/12 - 02:10 am
0
0
You may want to choose the

You may want to choose the longer layover. It's less pressure to arrive in Atlanta maybe late and still have to get to the other side of the airport to catch your flight especially IF your son is young. Atlanta doesn't always leave on time either, maybe because it's an International Airport and big. This has happened to me every single time so I will only fly Augusta to Charlotte which I'm pleased with and then to my destination. Have a save trip.

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