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Increased Airport Traffic as the Biathlon Comes to a Close

| March 7, 2014

PEN AIR BIATHLETES from WAGM-TV on Vimeo.

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There has been a lot of excitement over the past couple weeks with the arrival of the biathletes and the biathlon itself. Now that the championships are coming to a close, some biathletes are heading home. Airport Director, Scott Wardwell says a lot of the preparation is on the airline side.

“They’re adding six additional flights on Saturday. The bulk of the athletes will leave on Saturday. There are a few teams that are leaving today and tomorrow,” says Wardwell.

Wardwell says the airlines have really coordinated everything nicely with the biathlon event organizers, so that flights are available when the biathlon ends. They also have had to prepare at the airport.

“We have an extra line-man on duty to deal with the increased fueling demands,” says Wardwell.

TSA will also be bringing in extra people and expanding their hours to deal with the increase in passengers. Wardwell says the biathletes flying out of Presque Isle will help their revenue.

“We’ll actually get our boost as their leaving because the FAA tracks boardings not necessarily arrivals. So we should see a pretty good boost for are boardings for the month of March,” says Wardwell.

Wardwell also says fuel sales have been pretty strong. So between the boost in boardings and the strong fuel sales, they should see an increase in revenue. He says the biathlon air travel is similar to summertime, and the next busy time for the airport will be spring break.

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