SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It is already busy at Syracuse Hancock International Airport as it heads into its busiest week of the year.
The Syracuse Regional Airport Authority is expecting a 10% increase in mid-winter break travelers over 2019.
Airlines are adding an additional 59 flights compared to the same time period last year.
Executive Director Jason Terreri explains what makes the upcoming week busier than the holidays late in the year is that many people are on vacation at those times and not traveling during those periods.
In mid-February he says the Syracuse Airport sees mid-winter vacationers on top of the usual passenger traffic, like business travelers.
The busiest day is expected to be Saturday February 15, with 9,510 total passengers.
The largest increase over 2019 is the following Saturday February 22, with a 31.9% increase over last year.
“We are already in our overflow parking lot so the best advice is get here early, be patient, we will have parking available, we got plans in place to make sure that everybody is accommodated,” Terreri tells NewsChannel 9.
Other busy days to note are the following:
- Friday February 14, 2020 18.5% Increase from 2019
- Saturday February 15, 2020 26.5 % Increase from 2019
- Monday February 17, 2020 22.4 % increase from 2019
- Wednesday February 19, 2020 18.1% increase from 2019
- Friday February 21, 2020 22.7% increase from 2019
- Monday February 24, 2020 22.2 % Increase from 2019
Overall they are expecting a 10.2% increase in total available seats and a 5.3% increase in the number of flights (total of 59 additional flights).
This comes after a 9.4% increase in passenger traffic for January 2020 over January 2019 and the recent announcement that 2019 marked the highest volume of passenger traffic at SYR in three decades with about 2.5M passengers in Syracuse.
Terreri says, “The airlines see the growth, they see we’re a continually growing market but more importantly the airlines themselves are healthy in this market so the community is responding. As we add capacity and the capacity is being absorbed and the airlines are doing well financially so all that plays into additional services, looking to add more whether it’s capacity, new routes from existing carriers.”
He says it also means the airport has to stay ahead of this growth.
They are looking at expansion plans for parking and other improvements on that side of the airport property as well as updating the food and beverage offerings inside the terminal.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials are recommending that all passengers arrive at least two hours prior to their scheduled departure, especially during peak periods.
The airport reminds those picking up passengers to utilize the cell phone lot. The lot is free of charge and has a flight information display, so you can track all arriving flights.
In an effort to make the passengers experience as smooth as possible, Hancock Airport will also have its SYR Pets Easing Travelers (PET) therapy dogs roaming the terminal and its Fly Guide Airport Ambassadors on-hand to help passengers navigate the airport.
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For more local news, follow Jeff Kulikowsky on Twitter @JeffNC9