Transportation

2017 was record-breaking year for Sacramento International Airport

Sacramento International Airport set its all-time record for passenger traffic in 2017 and is projected to serve even more fliers over the next year.

Approximately 10.9 million people flew in and out of SMF last year, besting 2016’s mark of 10.1 million and previous high of 10.7 million set in 2007, airport spokeswoman Laurie Slothower announced in a news release Thursday morning.

September, October, November and December 2017 all set monthly records for traffic. The rise coincided with 21 new weekly flights to Long Beach and Spokane that became available in August.

“When airlines announce new service out of Sacramento, our customers have responded and made those routes successful. This strengthens our competitive profile,” county Director of Airports John Wheat said in the release. “We are very grateful to our passengers, our staff, our airline partners and our stakeholders for helping us reach this goal.”

SMF struggled in the face of the recession, like many other airports, but has seen passenger traffic rise in 45 consecutive months as more flights become available. After increasing airline rates to fund a $1 billion Terminal B renovation, the airport lowered them again in a five-year contract reached last year.

A busy end to the year is expected to keep rolling into 2018’s first half, with early airport projections showing a 10.2 percent rise in nonstop seats over the same period last year, thanks in part to six new destinations scheduled to be added this spring, officials said.

Saturday and Sunday flights to Cabo San Lucas and New Orleans will begin in March, followed by daily service to St. Louis and Austin, Texas, in April and Orlando and Vancouver in May. All new flights will be through Southwest Airlines with the exception of Vancouver, which will be offered by Air Canada.

Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, @BenjyEgel

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