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Flying High: Redmond Airport’s ’07 Smashes Records


December is always a busy travel season – and at Roberts Field, a record-setting month ended aother record year of 246,327 boardings, up more than 14 percent from 2006, airport officials said Monday.

“They (the numbers) are amazing,” said Roberts Field Manager Carrie Novick, who has seen her share of records fall over the years and is preparing for a busy 2008 as a long-awaited terminal expansion project gets under way.

The 2007 boarding figure is 31,164 passengers higher than the previous year and reflects, in part, the addition of direct Las Vegas jet flights by Allegiant Air last spring. Other factors include rising gas prices making flying a more attractive option when compared to driving, for example, to Portland for flights out of the region.

Despite a cooler economy, the December boardings of 22,085 were up 3,004 from the previous year, a boost of almost 16 percent.

Ground was broken for the $36 million terminal renovation project last August, but the work begins in earnest in coming weeks, and it’s expected to take about 18 months to complete, creating a 140,000-square-foot terminal, nearly three times larger than at present.

Novick said Monday the surprisingly strong smashing of the 2006 boarding record does not mean the major expansion won’t be large enough – only that some new areas that might have sat idle (or less filled),waiting for future needs, won’t be empty after all.

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