Trend in Spokane “International” Airport Passenger Levels Versus National Air Passenger Levels

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Trend in passenger growth (or loss) at Spokane “International” Airport versus Total National Air Passengers.

In this chart, the national total has been re-scaled to start at the same point as the Spokane total in order to compare the local growth rate (or loss) with the national growth rate in air travel. The data for Spokane come from and the national data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Ignore the Y-Axis numbers as they are meaningless in the trend comparison due to re-scaling.

The start date of 1996 is because that is the oldest data available at the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The end date is 2010, the most recent full year of data.


  • Compare the starting point of the blue line to the ending point of the blue line. As you can see, national air traffic has increased over this time.
  • Compare the starting point of the red line to the end point of the red line.
  • Passengers at Spokane “International” Airport have gone down over this period while overall national air passenger levels have gone up.
  • Only in the period of about 2005 to 2010, does Spokane perform better. However, so far in 2011, Spokane has gone down while national air passenger counts have gone up by about 2%. 2011 is not shown in the chart.

This chart was added to the previous post to keep the charts on SIA performance (or lack thereof) in a single place.

REMINDER: The airport is a proxy for the local economy. The fall off in flights, non-stop destinations and passengers is primarily a reflection of the local and national economy . The data suggest that Spokane’s economy is doing worse than elsewhere. The data presented do not mean that airport management is (presently) doing a bad job, although their PR spin is amusing.


3 Responses to Trend in Spokane “International” Airport Passenger Levels Versus National Air Passenger Levels

  1. art lande says:

    My only question is, who would bother tweeting this? Dull stuff… plus… “ignore the numbers” is great advice, except the chart supposedly means SpO is struggling vs the US…
    Ok. but then, where are the numbers?? way Confusing

  2. inlandnw says:

    The tweeting is up to the readers.That’s their choice. It is not more boring than 95% of what is on Twitter, though.

    The data indicate Spokane is burning down. I suppose watching Rome burn down was boring too.

    Two more posts are in the queue and scheduled to come out, I think tonight. Both may blow your mind.

    People ought to be scared – very scared. But it seems no one cares.

  3. inlandnw says:

    By the way, what numbers are you looking for? I post links to all data sources, and some times I also post the data tables. Did you want to see the data table? The Spokane #s come from the airport run web site, and were once cross verified with an EWU study that had the numbers in it also. The national numbers come from the US government web site linked in the story, above.

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