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Wed, June 26

Prescott Airport reaches 10,000-passenger milestone on May 20

A United Express flight departs for Denver on Jan. 10, 2019, from Prescott Regional Airport. Less than five months into 2019, Prescott Regional Airport has hit the crucial 10,000-passenger mark for the year. (Les Stukenberg/Courier, file)

A United Express flight departs for Denver on Jan. 10, 2019, from Prescott Regional Airport. Less than five months into 2019, Prescott Regional Airport has hit the crucial 10,000-passenger mark for the year. (Les Stukenberg/Courier, file)

Less than five months into 2019, the Prescott Regional Airport has hit the crucial 10,000-passenger mark for the year.

A news release from the City of Prescott reports that the airport reached the 10,000-enplanement (boarding passengers) milestone on May 20 – making 2019 the second consecutive year for the achievement.

“Reaching 10,000 enplanements ensures that Prescott Regional Airport will retain Non-Hub Primary Commercial Service airport status with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration),” the news release stated. “Retaining this classification unlocks $1 million annually in federal funding for future airport capital improvements.”

Exceeding 10,000 annual passengers also increases Prescott’s eligibility for future grants and opportunities, according to the city.

“The public response to our daily flights to Denver and Los Angeles, and all the connection cities beyond, has far exceeded our expectations,” said Airport Director Robin Sobotta.

She added that April was the airport’s second highest month for enplanements since service started (in late-August 2018), falling slightly behind December 2018,

April 2019 ended with 2,406 passengers and a load factor of 80.2%. Boarding numbers in May reportedly are on track to exceed April’s passenger counts.

The news release noted that the 10,000th enplanement occurred during the Prescott to Los Angeles departure on Monday, May 20.

“We are so pleased with the continued success at Prescott Regional Airport,” said Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli. “Congratulations to our airport staff, and our partners at United Express and SkyWest Airlines.”

Based on current data, the airport expects to reach 25,000 enplanements in 2019, Sobotta said – “the highest in our airport’s history.”

Due to the extraordinarily high load factors currently at Prescott, United Express and SkyWest Airlines have adjusted their Los Angeles schedule for the summer to achieve more favorable operational performance during the warmer summer months.

Airport officials say that starting June 6, the Los Angeles flights will depart at 8:05 p.m. rather than the current 2:55 p.m. departure time.

The change is being done to accommodate Prescott’s high altitude and summertime heat. The temporary schedule is expected from June through early October.

A new 18,000-square-foot passenger terminal is currently in design, and expected to break ground in late fall of this year, and be operational by summer 2020.

Booking information from Prescott is available online by visiting www.United.com or on the United smartphone app. Users should select airport code PRC for Prescott.

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