Passenger traffic has steadily increased at the Waterloo Regional Airport each of the past three months.

Recent statistics released by airport officials show 5,465 outbound passengers used the facility for air travel during the first quarter of fiscal year 2015. That’s an increase of 16.3% over the same three-month period in 2014, when 4,700 people boarded flights.

“This quarterly report continues the progress that the airport had seen during the Fourth Quarter and overall CY-2014," said Keith Kaspari, Airport Director. "The increased numbers of passengers using the airport shows that the numbers are trending in the right direction and is good news for both business and leisure passengers located in Waterloo, Cedar Falls and throughout the Greater Cedar Valley Region. As we continue in the spring and summer travel season, I look for a strong response from our passengers.”

Waterloo Regional Airport is served by American Airlines, which offers two daily flights to and from Chicago through its regional carrier American Eagle.

The 2015 statistics reflect an average monthly aircraft load factor of 72%, which is one of the critical indicators officials at American Airlines use to justify expanding flight service in Waterloo.

“Looking at the increases over the last couple of years -- including this most recent report during the first quarter of the new calendar year -- is especially gratifying due to this is the quarter when air travel is historically the slowest travel period of the year for both business and leisure travel," Kaspari said. "(The passenger usage figure) indicates that the airport is making slow, but continued progress in reversing the leakage to larger regional airports, and is continuing the recovery of lost passengers due to the airline mergers and consolidation of the airline industry that started in 2008.”