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Overall passenger numbers down at La Crosse airport

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More seats coming next year, as American brings larger planes 

The number of people passing through the La Crosse Regional have been down slightly from last year, according to a report being presented to the La Crosse aviation board.

The total of enplanements — that is, people on the commercial flights that have used the airport — is at 75,000 through the end of October.

That’s down about 1,000 passengers for the time a year ago.

The total seats on commercial flights through October was close to 88,000, and more seats will be available next year when American Airlines begins bringing larger planes to La Crosse.

In 2016, 107,000 seats were available on Delta and American flights through La Crosse, which was an increase of 1,000 from the year before.

Airport manager Clint Torp says, along with American bringing bigger planes it will also come with a first-class option.

The commercial planes, which flew through La Crosse last year, were filled to 84 percent of capacity.

It was a year ago this week, that the La Crosse airport launched a campaign to get more employers to book business flights through the local terminal. The LSE Leaders promotion has gone well, according to Torp with 30 companies joining the campaign.

He did say, however, a study is still being planned to see whether local passenger levels have changed much recently.

“How are passengers have been behaving — so if they’re using La Crosse, where they’re going, if they’re using alternative airports and how much they’re paying,” Torp said.

Passenger levels on commercial flights at LSE have fluctuated throughout the year.

Ridership numbers were up in March, April and August, compared to 2016, but they have been down during the other months of this year.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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