On the third Tuesday of each month, the Piedmont Triad Airport Authority – the seven-member board that oversees airport operations – meets to make decisions on airport actions and hear reports on the passengers, cargo and seats coming in and out of Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA).

Usually, the most anticipated part of the presentation of the statistics has to do with passenger numbers, since PTIA is working hard to get passenger traffic back up to pre-pandemic levels – and that is slowly but surely happening.

During the pandemic, while passenger traffic fell to extremely low levels, cargo was a bright spot for the airport – as people stayed home and did more shopping online.

Now, with the pandemic in the rearview mirror, those cargo numbers at PTIA are dropping fast.

June 2023, when compared with June 2022, saw the amount of cargo coming in and out of PTIA drop 24 percent.  It was down 22 percent year-to-date.

Even though the cargo number is currently dropping, the amount of cargo in and out of the airport is still 20 percent higher than the pre-pandemic number. Cargo at the airport in June 2023 versus 2019 was up 20 percent.

At the July meeting of the Airport Authority, the board also heard the latest stats regarding passenger traffic for June of this year and for 2023 so far.

Here are some of those highlights:

  • Passenger traffic in and out of the airport was up 6 percent in June 2023 over June 2022 and up 9 percent year-to-date.
  • The number of passengers using PTIA is still way behind pre-pandemic levels. The number of passengers in June 2023 versus 2019 was down 21 percent.
  • Total scheduled departing seats – that is, the number of airline seats leaving the airport either filled or unfilled – for August 2023 is 106,390, up 24 percent from August 2022, and down 13 percent from August 2019.

The “load factor” – that is, the average percentage of airplane seats departing from an airport that are filled with passengers – was 83 percent in April of this year. April’s load factor was 3 percentage points lower than April of 2022 and 1 point lower than April 2019.