TCRA experiences decline in airline passengers
  
From Staff Reports

   Tri-Cities Regional Airport officials reported yesterday that passenger statistics for the second quarter 2002 still reflect a sluggish rebound of the entire airline industry since Sept. 11, with passenger traffic down 10.2 percent for year-to-date 2001.
   Second quarter numbers reveal total passenger traffic at TCRA is down 6.9 percent compared to last year. The airport recorded a decrease of 7.4 percent in total traffic for May and an 8.6 percent decrease in June.
   Total passengers for the second quarter 2001, including charter flights, was 118,340, while total passengers for 2002 were 110,128.
   Total passengers for year-to-date 2001 were 216,293, while total passengers for year-to-date 2002 were 194,328.
   "While we had hoped for a quicker recovery, these figures are actually better than what the airlines are experiencing across the country," said John Hanlin, TCRA executive director.
   Hanlin said that, with the exception of low fare carriers, most airlines are reporting double-digit declines in traffic and revenue. Hanlin also said many people are delaying travel until the economy stabilizes, deciding instead to drive to their destination, especially if it takes less than five hours.