SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Shreveport Regional Airport is coming off a rocky year that saw declining numbers in passengers flying out of Shreveport Regional.
What does the usual ride up the escalator, the baggage claim, and the ticket counters at Shreveport Regional Airport have in common? They all make you ask the same question: where are all the people?
That's a question Mark Crawford with the Shreveport Airport Authority is also asking after reviewing monthly activity reports showing a steady decline in passenger numbers.
"Anytime we see a fluctuation that is going in a direction we don't like, we try to strategize and come up with ways to make sure passenger numbers are going up," he said.
In 2015, Shreveport Regional's numbers were down. They saw a total loss of about 4 percent. They hope to boost those numbers this year by making improvements to the airport, and also reminding people the airport is a local business that relies on its community.
"When you support a local business it can grow and flourish. Just like any local boutique or restaurant," said Crawford.
One of their main carriers, United Airlines which offers flights to Houston, took the biggest hit over the last year. Crawford blames the drop for United and the airport on the same thing: lower oil and gas prices.
"It's a lot cheaper to drive there this year than last year. Same thing with Dallas," he said.
One thing that Crawford is hoping will help is that Regional is about to undergo a major renovation to the shops, and restaurants, which will add multiple new options for post-security airport passengers.
Crawford also says that GLO Airlines, which offers direct flights to New Orleans, is doing well since it came to Shreveport in December of 2015.
He said GLO is making changes to their flight time in and out of Shreveport to help local businesses to get and from New Orleans in the same day.