Orange Regional Airport is growing in popularity, with close to a 30 per cent month-on-month increase.
In May this year 6288 commercial passengers took off from the Spring Hill tarmac, compared to 4866 during the same month in 2016.
Orange City Council has attributed the growth to the arrival of Fly Corporate’s direct route to Brisbane in February 20 and a greater use of Regional Express’s (Rex) Sydney service.
Council’s airport committee chairman Chris Gryllis said it was the highest monthly number of passengers since records were kept.
There have been 54,857 people fly out from Orange airport in the 12 months to June, which represents a 11.3 per cent increase over the previous year’s 49,247 passengers.
“It shows that the development work that Orange City Council has put in, with state and Australian government support, to build a larger terminal and lengthen the runway has been a very worthwhile investment,” Cr Gryllis said.
“Growing passenger numbers are one sign of a healthy regional airport. The number of small businesses who use the airport as a base is another sign.”
Fly Corporate sales manager Geoff Woodham said the airline’s Brisbane service was going “better than what we expected”.
“We’ve created a brand new market,” he said.
“We’re drawing people into Orange from Bathurst and other towns.
“There’s a significant amount of people travelling for medical appointments but also holidaymakers.”
He said recreational travellers were catered for with childrens’ fares and free luggage upgrades for international passengers.
An open day at Orange Regional Airport is planned for later this month.