Passenger traffic at Burbank Bob Hope Airport dipped nearly 2 percent in January compared to the same month last year.
The airport served 297,209 passengers, a drop of 1.7 percent from the 302,389 passengers served in January 2014.
It was the second month in a row for passenger numbers to decline at the San Fernando Valley’s only commercial airport, which experienced increases from July through November. The passenger count dropped less than 1 percent in December to 332,790.
Airport spokesman Victor Gill said the numbers for both January and December are indicative of a pattern that began to emerge last year. “It’s a flattening out on the mostly plus side from where we were,” he said.
Seven airlines serve the airport, with US Airways experiencing the biggest drop off at 17.5 percent to 13,567 passengers. Delta Airlines dropped 15.5 percent to 5,157 passengers.
SeaPort Airlines, a commuter service between Bob Hope and small airports in Southern California and the Central Valley, increased its passenger count up to 420, or about double from a year ago, after adding service to San Diego.
Bob Hope officials believe that a runway reconstruction project that started Friday at Los Angeles International Airport will result in flight delays that could send more passengers their way. Phased closures of the airport’s four runways will continue until September 2018.
“It is a question if the schedule availability at Burbank might have an attraction for people who might otherwise go to LAX,” Gill said
Bob Hope Airport has struggled in the past few years as flight traffic and passenger counts dwindled amid the recession, and as carriers consolidated operations at larger airports to keep planes full. Passenger activity peaked in 2008 with 5.84 million people coming through the terminal.
The airport has embarked on an ambitious plan that would include tying in with more public transportation and the building of a new terminal. The airport is also working with a marketing firm to help improve awareness of its proximity to popular tourist and business destinations.