Airport Stats: November Passenger Traffic Slightly Less, Commuter Aircraft Operations Huge Increase

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Although airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport slightly decreased in November 2018 as compared to the same month last year, commuter aircraft operations increased nearly 500 percent in the same time frame, airport officials announced in a press release last week.

In November 2018, JWA served 850,458 passengers, a decrease of 4.8 percent when compared with the previous November’s passenger traffic count of 892,995, according to the airport statistics released on Dec. 21.

But overall, the year-to-date figures for total passengers has increased slightly compared to last year. In 2017, through November, JWA logged 9,524,127 passengers. During the year so far in 2018, the airport has seen 9,835,968 passengers, or an increase of 3.3 percent.

The biggest increase comes from commuter aircraft operations, which went up 478.9 percent when compared with November 2017 levels.

The JWA statement describes “commuter” as “aircraft used for regularly scheduled air service, configured with not more than 70 seats, and operating at weights not more than 90,000 pounds.”

In November 2017, only 38 commuter aircraft operations were recorded. This year, that number spiked to 220 for November.

Year-to-date commuter aircraft operations in 2017 was at 570 at this point during the year. So far in 2018, the year-to-date amount has more than doubled at 1,476, for an increase of 158.9 percent.

Another large increase, although not nearly as big of a jump, at John Wayne Airport was in military aircraft operations. In November 2017, JWA logged 42 military aircraft operations, compared to 50 this November, or a 19 percent increase.

Overall, the year-to-date numbers for military aircraft operations have nearly doubled. In 2017, only 443 related actions were recorded at JWA between the first of the year and through November. In 2018 so far, there have been 802 military aircraft operations, or an increase of 81 percent.

Commercial aircraft operations decreased 1.3 percent compared to last November.

Total aircraft operations increased in November 2018 as compared with the same month last year. In November 2018, there were 26,182 total aircraft operations (take-offs and landings), a 5.7 percent increase compared to 24,763 total aircraft operations in November 2017.

Year-to-date total aircraft operations has also increased, from 270,057 during last year and 292,204 so far this year, or an increase of 8.2 percent.

General aviation activity, which accounted for 70.3 percent of the total aircraft operations during November 2018, increased 7.8 percent when compared with November 2017.

The top three airlines in November 2018 based on passenger count were Southwest Airlines (274,847), United Airlines (139,466) and American Airlines (135,678).

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