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Alberta factors figure in airport numbers

July 12, 2016 11:48 A.M.

The double whammy of wildfires and energy sector downturn continued to affect traveller traffic through Kamloops Airport last month.

Statistics released Tuesday by airport manager Fred Legace show that monthly travellers in June were down by 3.5 percent over the same month a year ago. The count was 24,205 last month compared to 25,045 in 2015.

A similar impact was reported for May, countering an equivalent rise in traffic earlier in the year. Overall, year-to-date travellers are up by 3.4 percent.

Legace noted that the situation is expected to improve over the summer as Fort McMurray reconstruction drives up demand for skilled workers outside of the northern Alberta labour market. As well, there should be more energy-sector workers returning to northern camps.

The seasonal start to air tanker traffic added to airport activity last month.

As well, a project to rebuild the main runway apron at Kamloops Airport was bolstered by provincial funding and has gone to tender. 

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