Eric Anderson Times Union
Sandy Could be Costly for Airport
November 5, 2012
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  • By Eric Anderson

    COLONIE — It’s not clear what the dollar impact of Superstorm Sandy on the Albany International Airport will be.

    More than 100 flights were canceled at Albany last week as the storm struck the Northeast, airport spokesman Doug Myers said Monday.

    The number of passengers passing through the airport’s security checkpoint totaled 3,800 on the Sunday before the storm, but fell to 1,800 on Monday and just 1,000 on Tuesday, Myers said.
    But it was back up to 4,300 by Thursday, when the last of the canceled service resumed.

    On a typical day, the checkpoint handles anywhere from 3,300 to 3,800 passengers, Myers said.

    So where did the losses come?

    “You have the passenger facility charge,” a fee charged each departing passenger, Myers said. The fee is currently $4.50. “You lose the parking. You lose the landing fees.

    “But you plan for that in your budget,” he added.

    Some of the lost business will be made up as passengers reschedule flights. But many others may just take the refund that airlines were offering passengers whose flights were canceled.

    Some passengers may have driven to their destinations or just skipped the trip entirely.

    Retail sales at airport shops also likely suffered.

    Worldwide, 20,254 flights were canceled between Oct. 27 and Nov. 1 because of Sandy, according to

    The hardest-hit airports were in the Northeast.

    Albany has been operating a normal flight schedule since late last week.

    The storm came at a time when air travel, after several years of declines, was recovering at Albany.

    “We were close to having an up year,” Myers said Monday afternoon. Now, it’s not clear whether that increase will materialize.

    Still, air travel out of Albany by the end of September was running ahead of last year, up 1.0 percent, with 943,300 passenger boardings.

    The losses from Sandy will be reflected in October’s figures, which won’t be out for another month.