Kalispell, Montana. (January 28, 2019) – Passenger numbers have soared to new heights at Glacier Park International Airport. A record-setting 307,000 outbound travelers boarded flights in 2018 — up 13.6 percent from 2017. Traveler numbers peaked in the heart of the summer season with 48,276 flyers boarding planes in July. The airport never saw fewer than 16,000 passengers enplaning per month in 2018, dipping in November to 16,436.
These rising figures reflect the continuous growth taking place throughout the Flathead Valley. Last year, Kalispell was named the third-fastest growing micropolitan community in the United States by the US Census Bureau. Glacier National Park saw nearly 3 million park visitors as of last November. More and more people are either visiting or settling in the area, and the airport is responding to that change.
“We’re seeing more passengers come through our doors than ever before and all projections indicate that those numbers will continue to rise,” said Rob Ratkowski, director of Glacier Park International Airport. “The airport is in the process of expanding to meet the demands so we can grow in step with the Flathead Valley. It’s an exciting time for us.”
Glacier Park International has seen a 33 percent increase in passenger volumes in the past five years. Air carriers have expressed increase confidence in the area market: in the last six months, Allegiant Air has added direct flights to Phoenix while American Airlines expanded service to Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas/Fort Worth.
In the next three years, Glacier Park International Airport is planning to add 40,000 square feet to the existing terminal, expanding the ticketing, baggage and waiting areas while also adding additional gates to better accommodate increased passenger volumes.
“We’re planning to add more of everything,” Ratkowski said. “It’s clear that we need more of everything to keep providing exceptional service to our guests, both local and visitors.”
ABOUT GLACIER PARK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Airline service at Glacier Park International Airport is provided by American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and Allegiant Air. Cities with year-round service include Denver, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City and Seattle. Additional cities with seasonal service include Atlanta, Chicago, Los
Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, Chicago and Portland. For more information, please visit www.iflyglacier.com.