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ILM Traffic Drops In September

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Oct 16, 2018
Wilmington International Airport had a dip in September traffic in both passengers and cargo to and from the airport, according to the latest statistics released Tuesday.

Departures in September were just over 30,300, down from about 47,200 passengers in August, about a 36 percent drop, the numbers show. The departures figure was also down from 35,000 passengers in September 2017.

Arrivals were down 38 percent, dropping from 47,200 passengers in August to 29,300 in September. There was also a dip from the previous year, from just over 33,400 passengers in September 2017.

The month saw several commercial flights canceled because of Hurricane Florence, which made landfall Sept. 14 near Wrightsville Beach and brought several days of heavy wind and rain.

"Although ILM did see a reduction in passenger numbers during the month of September due to Hurricane Florence, we are still above last year by nearly 9 percent," Julie Wilsey, ILM’s airport director, said in an email Tuesday. "Overall, we are proud of how our staff and partners worked for the expeditious return of commercial flights after the storm. Due to this dedication, we anticipate another positive year of growth in ILM’s overall passenger numbers and look forward to assessing the growth at years end."

Wilsey previously said that the storm caused 153 flights to be canceled at the airport.

The last commercial flight prior to the storm was Sept. 12. The first flight to resume at the airport post-storm took place Sept. 18, she said.

Cargo traffic, including freight, mail and express, at the airport also took a hit during that same period, according to the numbers.

Enplaned cargo reached just over 58,000 pounds in September, less than half the amount reported in August at nearly 139,700. That's a 58 percent decrease from August to September.

Deplaned cargo reached nearly 226,000 in August, dropping to about 102,400 pounds of cargo in September,  a 55 percent decrease.

Airport numbers had been steadily rising month to month throughout 2018 because of several new nonstop flights starting at the airport this year, including the added flights of ILM's newest commercial carrier United Airlines.

The last decrease in passenger numbers from month to month was between December 2017 and January 2018.
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