Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay sets new record for passengers through the airport

Airport officials in Thunder Bay, Ont., say 2018 was another record year for the number of passengers passing through the northwestern Ontario terminal.
Thunder Bay Airport officials say 2018 was another record year for the number of passengers using the airport. (Jody Porter/CBC)

Airport officials in Thunder Bay, Ont., say 2018 was another record year for the number of passengers passing through the northwestern Ontario terminal.

According to a written release from the Thunder Bay International Airport Authority, the local airport saw 869,404 passengers in 2018.

That amounted to just under three per cent more people than in 2017. The airport said that 2018 was the third consecutive year for record passenger volumes.

Traffic did slow a bit in the last quarter of 2018, the airport said, adding that officials expect 2019's numbers to look similar to 2018, falling in the range of 860,000 to 875,000 passengers.

"We expect that passenger demand is reaching a ceiling over the short term," the airport authority's president and chief executive officer, Ed Schmidtke, was quoted as saying. "Demand has grown by 12 per cent over the past three years."

One thing that the airport said should help in 2019 is the expected arrival of cruise ships to the city, which could bring as many as 400 new passengers through the terminal.