Deer Lake Airport sees 7% traffic bump in 2016 for busiest year on record

About 24,000 more passengers moved through the Deer Lake Airport in 2016 compared to 2015, according to the airport authority.

About 24,000 more passengers came through Deer Lake Airport in 2016, compared to 2015

Passenger traffic is up at the Deer Lake Airport, according to the airport authority. (CBC)

The Deer Lake Airport had it's busiest year ever in 2016, with 364,714 passengers travelling through the airport gates.

The airport's traffic is up about seven per cent from 2015, with about 24,000 more passengers using the terminals in 2016.

The airport authority said commuter traffic from Alberta was down, but passenger numbers were buoyed by more travel to and from the Muskrat Falls project in Labrador.

The Deer Lake Airport expanded its parking lots last year to accommodate commuter traffic. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

"Furthermore, an exceptionally stronger than usual summer tourist season generated greater demand for air travel", wrote Jamie Schwartz, the airport's CEO, in a press release.

The airport saw more than 50,000 passengers in August — it's busiest month ever.

In the press release, airport authority chair Walter Dominie said he was pleased traffic outperformed expectations, since  the airport had been anticipating a decline in passengers.

But Dominie said he was remaining cautious because of the uncertainty in the oil sector.