DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Dayton International Airport has seen a nine percent drop in the number passengers flying out of it so far this year.
Aviation Director Terrence Slaybaugh says with recent airline mergers, there are fewer flights to go around.
“There’s a lot more competition for us,” Slaybaugh says. “We’re fighting over the same airplane other markets are fighting over.”
This month alone, Slaybaugh says the airport has 400 to 500 fewer seats a day on flights.
“We can’t create opportunities we don’t have,” Slaybaugh says. “If we don’t have seats we can’t put people in them.”
We wanted to know if the drop has had an impact on the airport’s bottom line.
“No, I think our airport has been economical to operate and for the airlines to come in here,” Slaybaugh says.
Slaybaugh believes the Dayton airport has its selling points in the competition for flights.
“I think the bigger thing that makes us a great place for the carriers to come to is the economy in southwestern Ohio,” Slaybaugh says. “We’re leading the state right now in economic growth.”
Slaybaugh says if things don’t get better soon for small airports like Dayton federal regulators may take a look at the airlines’ actions.
“Frankly there’s a lot of small communities feeling the pressure of less service,” Slaybaugh says.
Slaybaugh says one thing Dayton has going for it is that it continues to have the lowest fares in the region.