Presque Isle airfield saying boost in US, Canadian traffic

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Over a past few years, Northern Maine Regional Airport has put some-more bid into selling to remonstrate both Aroostook County residents and Canadian travelers to welcome a airport’s sign and “fly Presque Isle.”

It appears that a efforts are starting to compensate off, as a series of passengers is inching behind adult after attack a low of 11,555 craft boardings for a year in 2013, according to airfield executive Scott Wardwell.

The airfield offers business and convenience atmosphere travelers uninterrupted use by PenAir, with 19 flights per week to and from Boston’s Logan Airport aboard PenAir’s Saab 340 aircraft, that seats 34 people.

Last year a series of people who boarded planes during a airfield went adult to 12,122 and a sum already is adult for any month this year when compared to final year, solely for March.

In March, a numbers were down 19.25 percent as compared to a prior March, when “we had a Biathlon Junior World Cup Championship that resulted in a poignant one-time boost in boardings,” Wardwell said.

Otherwise, however, trade was adult 3.4 percent in January, 5.8 percent in February, 10.65 percent in Apr and 5.64 percent in May, he said.

The airfield began creation pointed changes, such as in 2008 when students in a French-for-professionals category during a University of Maine during Presque Isle were asked to interpret a airport’s website to make it some-more permitted to intensity French Canadian customers. The airfield also capitalized on a strength of a Canadian dollar in 2010 and offering a fibre of transport reductions to some of a many renouned destinations for Aroostook County residents, such Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Denver.

Wardwell pronounced a bilingual website, ignored fares and other deals offering by PenAir continue to make an impact on traffic.

“Our numbers are still going up,” he pronounced this week.

Even as a U.S. dollar has gotten stronger and it has turn some-more costly for Canadians to transport in a U.S., Canadian trade has been holding steady, he said.

“For many of a Canadian customers, we are a closest airfield to them on possibly side of a border,” Wardwell said. “The nuisance and a cost of pushing dual additional hours to Fredericton besiege us some from a changes in sell rate.”

While he doesn’t have a relapse of passengers by nationality, Wardwell pronounced he estimates that about 45 percent of a flyers regulating a airfield annually are Canadian. He bases that figure on a series of Canadian vehicles regulating paid parking during a airport.

Paid parking also is adult for a year, he said.

“Canadians typically use a paid parking some-more than internal patrons, so this would be serve justification that we are during slightest holding steady.”

The newcomer numbers are still a distant cry from a airport’s heyday in a 1970s, when about 50,000 passengers boarded planes any year. But a shutting of Loring Air Force Base in Limestone in 1994 took some-more than 10,000 troops crew out of a area, and helped to means a decrease of an estimated 15 percent of a region’s race over a subsequent decade.

The race decrease as good as pricing differences between a internal airfield and most incomparable Bangor International Airport have had an impact on boardings, Wardwell said. The Sept. 11, 2001, militant attacks also influenced boarding numbers during airports opposite a country, he said.

Federal subsidies underneath a sovereign Department of Transportation’s Essential Air Service module also capacitate PenAir to continue handling in Presque Isle. The module was determined in 1978 during a duration of airline deregulation to yield sovereign assistance to atmosphere carriers portion smaller communities that differently competence remove use since of mercantile factors.

The multiple of selling and sovereign assistance helped make Northern Maine Regional Airport a fourth busiest airfield in Maine in 2013, a latest statistics available, according to, that marks statistics about airports around a nation. The Presque Isle airfield came in behind Portland International Jetport, Bangor International Airport and Knox County Regional Airport.