A record number of passengers are traveling through SLO Airport, thanks to new flights

With new flights, bigger planes and a larger terminal, it’s undeniable the San Luis Obispo airport is growing.

The San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport had its busiest first calendar quarter in its history in 2019, with 113,320 ticket-holding passengers flying in and out over a three-month period, according to a news release from the airport. That’s a 15-percent increase from in 2019, and double the passenger county from five years ago.

That should be good news to people like Visit SLO CAL president Chuck Davison, who has described the airport as key to the county’s economic future as new flights provide opportunity for business and tourism.

It’s not such good news for San Luis Obispo city residents who complain about the noise of early morning air traffic.

The San Luis Obispo airport still hasn’t reached the popularity of the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, whish sees more than 750,000 passengers a year, according to Santa Barbara County.

Other airports have looked to downsize in recent years, including Pittsburgh and Memphis. Meanwhile, San Luis Obispo County’s director of airports, Kevin Bumen, said he expects the local airport to continue to grow.

He’s also hinted at the possibility of even more flight destinations. The airport recently added flights to Dallas, a hub that connects San Luis Obispo to dozens of other destinations.

“Our strong passenger growth is exciting, consistent and sustainable,” Bumen said. “We’re thrilled that our neighbors keep choosing to fly out of their hometown airport, and we will continue to provide them with the amenities and flights that keep them coming back.”

To view airport statistics, visit www.sloairport.com/airport-statistics.

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