- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 18, 2017

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - Ridership at Peoria’s airport has declined for the first time in four years.

Officials at Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport announced Tuesday that passenger numbers fell by 3 percent in 2016.

Airport director Gene Olson attributes the decline to a downturn in the local economy. He says Caterpillar Inc.’s summer layoff announcement is a possible factor.

Olson tells the (Peoria) Journal Star (https://bit.ly/2jyteaU ) that people are reluctant to travel because of uncertain finances. He says corporate travel is also down.

But ridership did pick up in the fall. A record-setting November led into what Olson called a “strong December.” He says the public is adjusting to the bad economic news.

Olson says at one point, projected 2016 ridership was 615,000. Instead, it topped out at about 623,000.


Information from: Journal Star, https://pjstar.com

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