The Columbia Metropolitan Airport saw more than one million passengers come through the airport in 2022, a 21% increase over 2021’s passenger traffic.
In total, CAE saw 527,599 enplanements -- travelers starting their travel journey at CAE --and a total of 1,063,630 total passengers through the airport – including those passengers with one-way tickets to CAE, according to a news release. This was the first time since 2019 that the airport’s passenger numbers exceeded one million.
CAE set a 10-year record in 2019 with 1,353,788 passengers. Numbers plummeted to 577,187 in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and then rebounded to 877,806 in 2021.
The airport saw a significant spike in passenger traffic in the summer months of 2022 – with June seeing 103,686 passengers, 100,656 in July and 94,864 in August, for a total of 299,200 passengers for the entire summer. In comparison, during the summer of 2021 CAE saw roughly 259,600 passengers – a 15.24% increase year over year for June, July and August.
“The consistent year-over-year growth in passenger traffic CAE has had since 2020 has been welcomed,” said Mike Gula, the airport’s executive director. “We are thankful for the ongoing support of this community in utilizing this airport. With the sustained increase in passenger traffic, CAE will be positioned to see additional air service in 2023, as well as infrastructure and terminal updates and expansions that will make traveling through the airport that much easier for our valued passengers.”
Passengers in 2023 will be able to take advantage of additional flight services added at CAE during 2022, including increased service to New York City, Chicago and Charlotte.
“Our ongoing air service efforts have paid off as we see an increase of air service options for our passengers,” said Kim J. Crafton, director of marketing and air service development. “Increasing routes and nonstop destinations is always a top priority for our team. Additionally, we have had a number of positive conversations with several low-cost carriers that will hopefully come to fruition in 2023 for CAE and the Columbia community.”