ALPENA - The Alpena County Regional Airport has enjoyed two consecutive solid months of enplanements, and as a result the airport has surpassed the 10,000 enplanement mark for the second straight year. As the result of the good numbers and the consistency new air service provider SkyWest is offering, the airport will receive a $1 million subsidy from the Federal Aviation Administration for a second straight year.
The number of enplanements for October was 4,411 and it bumped the yearly totals to 10,225 with two months left in the year, which also includes the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays when travel increases. Marissa Snow, spokesperson for SkyWest, said the airline is pleased with the reception it has received from travelers thus far and hopes as word spreads the numbers will continue to climb.
"SkyWest thinks that things are going well and believe people are beginning to understand the advantages of flying local," Snow said. "We are exploring ways to continue to build up the enplanements, but at this point SkyWest is pleased."
Snow said she thinks there are other factors that have led to the early success at the airport so far. She said people sharing their positive experiences with others is a good marketing tool and people returning for more flights is another positive sign. She said the goals for SkyWest are to work with Alpena and the surrounding area to make the airport as prosperous as it can be.
"Our objective has always been to partner with the community to help make the airport self sustaining and for it to grow," Snow said. "That is our broad objective and we are hoping to continue to build on the momentum we have now."
Snow said the best way to make sure a customers reuses the airport and SkyWest is to make sure they are getting what they pay for and to meet their expectations. She said SkyWest will work closely with the airport to be sure travelers are getting the best service possible.
"It is really all about customer convenience and any way we can help the airport to improve that we will be happy to offer our support," Snow said. "So far SkyWest is pleased with how we have been accepted into Alpena and we hope it will continue."
Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5689.