Last year was another record year and marked the eighth consecutive year of growth at Springfield-Branson National Airport.

Not only was it another record, but 2019 was the busiest year in the airport’s history with 1,187,068 total passengers. That’s an increase of 111,643 passengers (or 10.4% growth) over the previous record in 2018 and 62% growth since 2011.

“We really appreciate the community supporting our hometown airport and this unprecedented growth reflects the strong local economy,” said airport director Brian Weiler. “These numbers also help us build a case with airlines for future air service improvements.”

Airlines added 8% more seats into the Springfield market in 2019. With the 10% growth in passengers, the additional seats were purchased and then some.

There are indications the growth will continue. Advance airline schedules for spring show airlines will increase the number of seats available in Springfield by about 8%.

Since 2011, airlines have added non-stop service to Charlotte, Destin/Fort Walton Beach and Houston. Several other routes were upgraded with the use of bigger airplanes or the addition of more daily flights.

The airport has made several improvements to keep up with the growth, including an expanded restaurant, additional charging stations in the terminal, valet parking and construction of 750 parking spots that are ready for the approaching spring break rush.

Improvement projects for 2020 have a heavy emphasis on parking lots. Plans include a covered pedestrian walkway, electric vehicle charging stations and LED lighting.

Passenger numbers weren’t the only thing that grew at the airport in 2019. Freight moved by FedEx and UPS was up 8% to 32,992,967 pounds. Takeoffs and landings were up 9% to 63,159, thanks in part to the flight training program at Ozarks Technical Community College.

A record 9,160,446 gallons of aviation fuel was delivered to the airport, up 15% from 2018.

Four airlines serve Springfield: Allegiant, American, Delta and United. They provide service to 12 non-stop destinations: Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas, Charlotte, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, Tampa/St. Petersburg, Orlando and Destin/Fort Walton Beach.