Cape Air sees increase in passengers in 2018


One Heartland airport is seeing an increase in passengers.

During a recent Kirksville Airport and Transportation Commission (ATC) meeting and Kirksville City Council study session, members were updated on the success of Cape Air.

According to city staffers, Cape Air passenger numbers are well above last year's, averaging over 100 more passengers per month.

Kirksville Regional Airport Director Glenn Balliew says one of the main reasons those numbers suffered was due to the 1,500 hour rule.

That was a measure mandated by the government that pilots and copilots have 1,500 hours of flight time in order to fly commercially.

Balliew says because of that, airline companies across the nation experienced a shortage in trained pilots.

"That really put a hurt on all of the markets at a regional level. They've recovered from that and the numbers are up, reliability is up. They are doing really well. The airport is doing well too."

Marketing, changing out unreliable pilots and adding spare aircraft to the fleet have also contributed to the increase in ridership.

Cape Air currently provides flights from Kirksville to St. Louis and vice versa, daily.

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