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Another new record for traffic at Deer Lake Regional Airport in 2016

['<p>STAR FILE PHOTO</p>\n<p>A jet takes off from the runway of Deer Lake Regional Airport in this undated photo.</p>']
['<p>STAR FILE PHOTO</p>\n<p>A jet takes off from the runway of Deer Lake Regional Airport in this undated photo.</p>']

Despite a slowed down economy, Deer Lake Regional Airport established another new record for its busiest year ever in 2016.

The airport saw a seven per cent increase in passenger traffic with its new high of 364,714 travelers.

There were record highs for monthly traffic in eight of the 12 months last year and there were month-over-month increases in every month except January and April.

The 50,647 people who went through Deer Lake Regional Airport in August  helped make it the busiest month in the history of the facility.

Jamie Schwartz, the airport’s chief executive officer, said the decline in commuting traffic to and from Alberta was offset by the transition of workers to the Muskrat Falls project in Labrador.

“Furthermore, an exceptionally stronger than usual summer tourist season generated greater demand for air travel,” Schwartz said in a news release issued Wednesday morning.

Walter Dominie, who chairs the Deer Lake Regional Airport Authority, said a decline in traffic had been expected because of the challenges facing the economy. He said the numbers for 2016 are encouraging but continued economic uncertainty makes the authority cautious of what’s in store for 2017.

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