The Piedmont Triad Airport Authority held its September meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 27 and heard some mixed results regarding airport passenger traffic at Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA). On the plus side, in the report for August 2022, the number of passengers flying in and out of PTIA continued its climb toward pre-pandemic levels; however, the total number of seats on planes departing from the airport dropped.

Airport officials have been trying for years to get more airlines to service PTIA and also to get more flights in and out of the airport.

In the statistics presented at the September 27 Airport Authority Board meeting, the number of passengers flying in and out of PTIA was up 12 percent in August 2022 over August 2021. That same number was up an even more encouraging 44 percent year-to-date this year compared to last year.

Airport officials also like to compare the monthly numbers in 2022 to those in 2019 in order to see where the airport stands in terms of pre-COVID-19 metrics. The answer? The airport still hasn’t met the elusive goal of getting back to “normal.” The number of passengers for August 2022 versus that same month in 2019 was down 28 percent.

The total number of departing seats scheduled by airlines for October of this year was 88,790. That’s down .5 percent over October 2021 and down 30 percent over October 2019. (In October 2021, the number of departing seats was 93,097, while in October 2019 it was 127,022.)

Planes that are taking off from PTIA are usually quite full. The “load factor” – the average percentage of seats departing from PTIA that had passengers in them – was 85 percentage in June 2022. That’s 9 percentage points higher than in June of 2021 and 5 points higher than in June 2019.

The amount of cargo in and out of PTIA was up 5 percent in August 2022 over August 2021, and up 6 percent year-to-date.

Cargo for August 2022 was up 41 percent compared to that same month in 2019.