EXCLUSIVE: “as air traffic continues to grow” at Walla Walla Regional Airport

Sen. Murray, there’s that word again. I do not think it means what you think it means.

We explored this concept of “continued growth in aviation” in Spokane in the past, where a long term drop in aviation activities was termed “continued growth”.

Now, she’s talking about Walla Walla airport:

[Sen. Patty] Murray says the Walla Walla airport experienced a record number of travelers in May and the federal funds are a critical investment as air traffic continues to grow.

via 2 rural Washington airports receive federal grant funds | The Seattle Times.

Update: Rachel Dolezal, the white woman pretending to be a black woman, is just as nonsensical as a long term decline in aviation being called “growth” or a long list of other local myths and outrageous lies.  The root of this has little to do with black versus white – Dolezal is just another con artist creating a world built on lies. For many years, Forbes branded Spokane “The Scam and Fraud Capitol” of America – and Spokane continues to nourish that reputation at every opportunity. Its a community that has a firmly established cultural problem of deceit and fraud – within a community that is a gullible as they come. Rachel fit right in with some of GSI’s past lies about Spokane – but this time, its become an international story!

Update: Embarrassment spreads – NAACP says ideology is more important than integrity and honesty.  So far, Eastern Washington University has said the same thing and students do not seem to think Dolezal’s history as a serial liar is a problem. That is sad. What are they thinking?

Air Traffic Operations

Air traffic is definitely not continuing to grow:

image (2)

The Federal grant will be used to build new fencing and repair a taxiway.

But passenger usage is continuing to grow!

image (3)

Walla Walla is served by two daily Horizon (Alaska) air flights on Q400 turbo prop aircraft with about 57 passengers per flight.

Passenger usage continued to grow strongly into June thanks in part to “a two-year $250,000 federal grant to help promote and stabilize air service“: yep, the operations are subsidized by taxpayers, similar to Spokane’s once per day flight to Los Angeles.

Passenger usage is increasing, albeit, partially due to taxpayer subsidies for the operations. Will that growth continue when the subsidies go away?

The data is available on the web site of Walla Walla Regional Airport. The data on aircraft operations was compared with that provided by the FAA; the numbers are nearly the same. Aircraft operations counts are made by the control tower staff; changes in tower operational hours over the years can affect the counts. Logically, tower hours of operation track aircraft operations – more aircraft means a busier airport means more hours when flight ops are underway. Fewer aircraft ops means fewer hours when the tower is operating (aircraft may still use the airport when the tower is closed). Regardless, aircraft flight operations have collapsed at Walla Walla.

Data Tables Follow

Commercial Air Passengers Control Tower Operations
Year Outbound Passengers Inbound Passengers *Air Carrier Operations *Air Taxi Operations *General Aviation Operations *Military Operations *Total
1976 14,487 0 7,011 55,000 12 62,023
1977 17,367 19,290 4 9,311 55,907 18 65,240
1978 20,300 23,115 4 14,628 54,551 0 69,183
1979 22,448 24,781 0 13,498 45,258 2 58,758
1980 17,326 18,277 0 11,378 47,867 36 59,281
1981 15,077 16,483 0 8,080 49,850 805 58,735
1982 15,708 16,315 12 5,727 51,517 1301 58,557
1983 16,578 16,981 6 5,294 53,294 691 59,285
1984 20,575 20,632 0 5,105 47,994 272 53,371
1985 20,502 20,188 0 5,677 40,621 222 46,520
1986 13,753 12,529 11 4,393 41,023 292 45,719
1987 16,097 15,733 7 4,979 41,984 214 47,184
1988 16,968 16,712 0 5,774 42,003 168 47,945
1989 18,754 18,620 0 6,315 45,615 215 52,145
1990 18,606 18,502 2 7,486 41,537 222 49,247
1991 18,147 18,587 0 6,512 37,787 228 44,527
1992 20,245 20,455 4 7,061 43,428 148 50,641
1993 20,282 20,345 2 6,886 44,208 201 51,297
1994 23,068 23,179 0 6,324 41,997 286 48,607
1995 22,461 22,629 0 5,232 37,978 749 43,959
1996 23,048 23,017 4 5,446 44,835 90 50,375
1997 25,384 25,244 0 7,220 42,943 280 50,443
1998 23,970 23,509 2 4,187 38,147 295 42,631
1999 30,977 30,844 3 3,874 37,744 292 41,913
2000 31,478 31,473 0 3,417 38,761 294 42,472
2001 28,486 28,305 14 2,980 37,127 143 40,264
2002 28,070 27,984 16 3,209 36,605 170 40,000
2003 26,270 26,157 16 2,554 41,517 83 44,170
2004 25,235 24,857 14 3,662 33,324 117 37,117
2005 24,700 24,457 6 2,975 31,512 103 34,596
2006 28,260 27,785 4 3,190 22,426 100 25,720
2007 28,658 28,149 2 2,848 28,764 103 31,717
2008 29,582 29,506 257 2,505 30,388 118 33,268
2009 33,430 33,898 1,707 863 28,480 133 31,183
2010 29,050 28,592 1,024 782 22,427 182 24,415
2011 32,127 32,002 1,008 909 27,616 89 29,622
2012 31,825 31,537 924 922 22,741 99 24,686
2013 33,050 33,454 753 937 24,873 54 26,617
2014 36,272 36,313 948 904 21,737 63 23,652
2015- 12,540 12,745 312 234 7,046 16 7,608

Source: Walla Walla Airport Web Site

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