YARMOUTH - The Yarmouth International airport is much busier than many people perhaps realize.
On Jan. 29, interim airport manager Alain Muise provided the airport commission with statistics from 2017.
There were a total of 1,280 movements last year. An aircraft movement is defined as a takeoff or landing at an airport. For airport traffic purposes, one arrival and one departure are counted as two movements.
Muise told the commission that private, charter and corporate aircraft represented more than half of the movements.
“It’s slightly lower than 2016. I haven’t analyzed the reasons why. I am going to do a four-or-five-year trend summary, so you’ll be able to look at that,” he said.
Charter aircraft were recorded with 356 movements. Monthly usage was quite consistent, ranging from close to two-dozen each month to three-dozen movements.
The Tri-County Flying Association, also known as the Yarmouth Flying Club, had 170 movements.
There were 112 medevac uses, including helicopter and fixed winged aircraft. Although medevac landings often occur at the hospital helipad for patient pickup, fueling happens at the airport. There were 14 medevacs in December alone.
Government usage represents a big number as well. There were 286 movements last year, which represents military (62), Coast Guard (166) and other (58).
Last August the Yarmouth Airport Commission voluntarily changed the facility’s certification from 302 to 301 in order to ensure continued air service from the airport.
Without 302 certification the airport cannot have scheduled passenger service, but the benefits of 301 classification include hundreds of thousands of dollars in operational savings. All of the existing traffic coming in and out of the airport would not be affected by the certification change.
Muise is also CAO for the Municipality of Argyle, a position he is maintaining. His interim position with the airport is until March 31, 2018, upon which the board will determine its course of action.