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New passenger record at Kelowna's airport

New passenger record at Kelowna's airport
From Global News - January 12, 2018

The number of passengers at Kelowna International Airport is taking off.

Almost 1.9 million people went through the doors last year, setting a new record every month.

We had a wonderful year. We were up 9.3 per cent in terms of traffic growth, Sam Samaddar, Kelowna International Airports director, said.

Although the summer of floods and fires caused a dip in tourism, the number of people using the airport still went up.

We saw tremendous growth throughout the year, but August was our peak month. We handled 179,000 passengers, Samaddar said.

Certain times of the day, if you look at a Friday morning or a Saturday morning, were running basically at capacity, he said, adding that there is surplus capacity at other times of the day.

READ MORE: Widespread delays, cancellations at Kelowna International Airport

Winter months saw a sizeable increase in the number of passengers, which Samaddar said is largely due to a growing number of skiers.

The jump in the numbers in the winter months is indicative of the fact that Kelowna really is recognized by visitors as a gateway to the Okanagan, Lisanne Ballantyne, Tourism Kelownas president and CEO, said.

READ MORE: Kelowna airport fully prepared for record snow day

Tourism Kelowna is hoping to hit 3 million visitors a year by 2021.

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