The Indianapolis International Airport is anticipating a record finish to 2017. If current monthly trends hold, officials project passenger traffic to exceed the high mark of 8.5 million passengers in 2016. IND is also one nonstop destination from matching its highest total since opening in 2008, adding 38 over the last three years and currently standing at 48.
The growth in nonstops and passenger traffic, Indianapolis Airport Authority Executive Director Mario Rodriguez says, is the result of a number of factors. "The state economically is doing fantastic and it’s doing fantastic because of wonderful leadership both at the city level and at the state level," he tells Inside INdiana Business. "Another factor which folks really don’t focus in on a lot," he said, "we brought in airlines which are categorized as ultra-low cost carriers and these ultra-low cost carriers are reaching out to a population base that hasn’t been served by other airlines." Rodriguez expects more "a few more" new routes to be announced at the beginning of next year.
A long-fought for accomplishment this year was securing a nonstop flight to the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris that will begin in May, which Rodriguez says produces good "optics" that extend beyond the airport. "It’s fantastic for us, it’s fantastic for passengers and it’s also fantastic for economic development. Everybody trying to sell the city, they could capitalize on this nonstop top Europe," Rodriguez said. "For the convention and visitors bureau, they’re able to capitalize on this. For business, for people attracting talent to the city — to relocate to the city — you can capitalize on this and then you capitalize on our connectivity to the rest of the world and the rest of the United States."
Recently-released data from the MIT Airport Connectivity Quality Index show IND is now fifth among its peer airports for connectivity, a ranking Rodriguez thinks could grow in the coming years. He adds "compared to 11 other peer midsize markets, we have more nonstop destinations and more daily departures on average."
The IAA says airport operations in 2016 were connected to over $5.4 billion dollars in economic impact, supporting more than 22,000 jobs.
You can connect to the full report by clicking here.
The growth in nonstops and passenger traffic, Indianapolis Airport Authority Executive Director Mario Rodriguez says, can be attributed to a number of factors.