Tribal Radio | By Sarah Flower

Summer holiday travel season is in full swing across the country, and locally, Durango La Plata county airport is on track to set records for its passenger numbers.

Airports all over Colorado are not only back to pre-pandemic travel but are breaking records for the number of passengers coming and going. Durango La Plata county airport is on trend to have 2023 be the busiest year on record.

According to a news release, the total airline passenger traffic is up 12% compared to 2022, with the first and second quarters of the year seeing record passenger counts. Tony Vicari is the aviation director for the airport and says American Airlines and United Airlines passenger numbers are up double-digit compared to 2022, and total airline seat capacity is up 16% compared to last year.

In April of this year, the airport broke ground on a $7 million expansion project that will add a boarding gate and expand on seating areas, concession stands, public restrooms, and the post-security screening area and works to complete in the spring of 2024.

In 2022, Colorado had 206 reported human cases of West Nile virus, including 20 deaths. CDPHE encourages the use of insect repellents containing DEET when you go outdoors.

“Our airline partners continue to make a robust route network available for travelers in Southwest Colorado and the Four Corners region,” said Vicari, “We have experienced strong demand for airline service in 2023, and we are anticipating a busy summer and fall. We’re confident that DRO’s convenient location, comfortable facilities, and strong airline route network will continue to fulfill the air travel needs of our community.”

American Airlines continues to offer year-round daily nonstop flights to Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and Phoenix (PHX). United Airlines provides year-round daily nonstop flights to Denver (DEN), with summer seasonal weekend flights to Houston (IAH).

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