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YXS passenger numbers continued to increase in 2023

The Prince George Airport Authority’s (PGAA) passenger numbers are inching closer to pre-pandemic levels.

417,848 passengers travelled through YXS in 2023, a 15 per cent increase over 2022.

According to the Airport, January saw the biggest spike in travellers at a 59 per cent increase when compared to the same month in 2022, followed by February at 43 per cent, March at 33 per cent, and then December at 18 per cent.

PGAA President and CEO Gord Duke said the direct flight to Puerto Vallarta helped with the numbers.

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“I think in a lot of cases people were going to Puerto Vallarta anyways and connecting through Vancouver or Calgary, the direct flight is definitely a big help for those folks,” Duke said.

“I think it also stimulates people when they see the direct flight, they can get their sort of all-inclusive week or two-weeks down there that is always desired at this time of year in the North, as well as the snowbirds that are down there for extended periods of time are taking advantage of the direct flight for sure.”

Duke said they’re continuing to look for other flight opportunities, such as Las Vegas, Toronto, or even into Asia or Europe.

In addition to increased passenger numbers, the PGAA continued to modernize their grounds maintenance equipment fleet.

This includes a snow plough/sweeper combo.

YXS Snow plough/sweeper combo (Supplied by the Prince George Airport Authority)

“That really allows us to keep on top of snowfall and snow and ice control in a much more efficient way,” Duke said.

“We also received some federal government funding towards the purchase of a new aircraft rescue fire truck that is state of the art and the latest technology that is available.”

Aircraft Rescue Fire Truck (Supplied by the Prince George Airport Authority)

The Combined Services Building also underwent an expansion which adds an additional five heated storage and maintenance bays.

Two are completed, while the rest are still under  construction and are expected to be completed in the spring.

Funding came from the Provincial and Federal Governments, as well as Northern Development Initiative Trust.

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