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Around Our Town...Economic Development

04/01/2005 - News from the Casper Area Economic Development Alliance

and Natrona County International Airport

Airport Visitors & Traffic UP

Natrona County International Airport (NCIA) has experienced a significant increase in customers from outside of Natrona County since Northwest Airlines started service to Casper in October 2004, according to NCIA Manager Dan Mann.

Comparing January and February 2004 to the same period in 2005, the NCIA parking lot had a 37% increase in vehicles from Wyoming communities outside Natrona County. The most significant increases year-on-year came from:

Riverton 148%

Sheridan 146%

Gillette 143%

Buffalo 111%

Rawlins 85%

Douglas 37%

"The addition of Northwest service and resulting competition in fares is clearly the reason for this additional use of NCIA," Mann said.

Enplanements for the same period increased by 2629 passengers, or 28%, according to Mann. Delta and United traffic number have remained constant, he noted.

"With the addition of Northwest service, we have achieved the objectives of increasing traffic without diverting passengers from existing carriers, lowering fares, adding destinations and improving connection times to many destinations," said CAEDA President Chris Manegold.

Aviation consultant Mark Sixel, Sixel Consulting Group, analyzed Casper fares and confirmed that average fares to and from Casper are about $100 lower since the start of Northwest service.

"Casper travelers have saved in excess of $3.5 million since Northwest service started last October," Manegold commented. "Those savings cut across all three carriers serving NCIA."

Casper travelers can now reach 161 domestic and international destinations through one-stop hub connections in Denver, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Salt Lake City.

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