NORTH CAROLINA: The Wilmington International Airport (ILM) served 817,896 passengers in 2016; setting a new record. When compared to 2015, passenger enplanements were up 6.6% (25,365) and deplanements were up 5.9% (22,722) year over year. The prior record for total passengers served was back in 2010, when ILM served 799,710 passengers.
The most recent economic impact study, conducted by the NC Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation, indicated ILM had a $1.6 Billion impact on the region. With the increase in passengers in 2016, ILM anticipates the next report by the NCDOT Division of Aviation will show Wilmington International Airport’s economic impact on the region now exceeds $1.6 Billion.
The Wilmington International Airport serves southeastern North Carolina with commercial air service on both Delta and American Airlines. Airlines evaluate each community on passenger and revenue statistics and utilize this information when evaluating the need for larger airplanes or additional flights. Leading into 2016, “American and Delta Airlines recognized the strong market in the greater Wilmington area and they added larger aircraft with more seats to carry additional passengers to and from ILM.” stated Julie Wilsey, Airport Director. “The increased seat capacity was timely; aligning well with statistics that show the tri-county area is one of the fastest growing regions in the country and local tourism is at an all-time high.”
“ILM thanks our airline partners, American and Delta, as well as all the employees who are instrumental in our accomplishment. We also acknowledge the travelers in our community who use the local airport and thank them for their loyal support. We look forward to another great year in 2017!” stated New Hanover County Airport Authority Chairman Thomas Wolfe. With the population of the tri-county area projected to increase through 2040, and positive economic indicators, the outlook continues to look strong for air travel through ILM.