Glacier Park International Airport Sets Annual Passenger Record

By Beacon Staff

Glacier Park International Airport set a record for passengers in 2012.

The airport announced last week that a total of 384,023 revenue passengers traveled through GPI last year. A total of 194,030 passengers flew out of the Flathead Valley, an 8 percent increase over 2011 and 2 percent rise over 2005, when the previous record was set at GPI. The number of incoming passengers was 189,993, also an 8 percent increase over 2011.

“It is very encouraging to see economic recovery begin to manifest itself by interest from the public in travel,” Cindi Martin, director of GPI, said in a statement. “We believe we are seeing both tourism and business travel improvements as evidenced by the fact that every month in 2012 showed higher numbers of travelers flying out of our market than in the previous years.”

Departure numbers were up every month last year compared to 2011. The months of July and August were the busiest in terms of passenger count with nearly 30,000 each month, up 12 percent and 8 percent from the previous year, respectively.

The airport is currently undergoing a $2 million remodel that will expand security and waiting areas, address passenger needs and keep the airport competitive for future airline business.

The renovations began Jan. 14 and are scheduled to be completed in May.