The Piedmont Triad Airport Authority that runs Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) meets on a Tuesday toward the end of each month and, every time it does, PTIA Executive Director Kevin Baker provides some of the latest stats regarding passenger traffic at the airport.

On Tuesday, Sept. 26, when the board met, Baker had some pretty good news. Passenger traffic and the number of seats departing the airport are both going up.

It’s happening at a pretty good clip too – though not as fast as airport officials would like. Still, the numbers are headed in the right direction.  According to the latest stats released by the airport, passenger traffic was up 16 percent in August of 2023 over August of 2022 and up 11 percent year to date.

The frustrating part of the story is that airport officials are really looking forward to the day when PTIA’s numbers can once again match the magical pre-pandemic level. PTIA isn’t there yet.

The number of passengers in and out of the airport for August of 2023, when compared to August of 2019, was down 16 percentage points.

In other good news, the number of “departing seats” scheduled for October of 2023 – seats with or without people in them – was 107,957, which is an increase of 23 percent over October of 2022.

Yet, it’s still 15 percent lower than in October of 2019.

In October of 2022, there were 87,548 seats on passenger planes that took off from PTIA. That’s not anywhere near the pre-pandemic October 2019 number of seats, which was 127,022.

The “load factor”– which represents the average number of airplane seats that were filled while departing from PTIA – was 83 percent for June of 2023. That load factor is 2 percentage points lower than in June of 2022 and 3 points higher than June of 2019.