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Airport sees passenger influx

This month’s numbers are showing an increase in the Pocatello Regional Airport’s traveler traffic by six percent. This is a total jump of more than 400 people in the past three months alone as compared to the traveler numbers this past year in 2011.

If you have flown out of Pocatello recently, you might have been seated on its newest regional jet. This jet seats 50 passengers versus the old Brazilia it replaced which only seated 30.

Airport manager David Allen attributes the increase in these numbers to the introduction of this new jet when it landed at that airport back in June. But he said upon looking to the future, even this new jet carrier might be obsolete within the next few years.

“Even the fifty seat jets are now being phased out in a lot of the traditional routes they were used in because of the fuel economy,” Allen said. “So I’d say eventually by the 2020 period, you’re going to see 70 seat jets.”

The airport is thinking of getting rid of the sole remaining Brazilia left at its facility and replacing it with a second regional jet within the next couple of years.

Allen is confident this change has had various other benefits for the airport.

“It translates to more money, more revenue stream which makes us more self-sufficient and less reliant on tax-based money. It also generates more enthusiasm for looking for additional routes,” Allen said.

He also said more changes are on their way.

Allen has already been working with engineers on building a bridge between the tarmac and the airport itself by Summer 2014.

The airport will also introduce a brand new media center which will allow people to charge their electronic devices while they wait to board.

Follow Kaitlin on Twitter: @KaitlinLoukides

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