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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Airports in Aguadilla, Ponce report increased traffic

Air passenger traffic from January to April was up by significant margins over the same period last year at Rafael Hernández International Airport in Aguadilla, shown above, and Mercedita International Airport in Ponce.

By The Star Staff

The international airports of Aguadilla and Ponce registered increases in passenger movement of 44.6% and 63.5%, respectively, from January to April, compared to the same period of 2022, Puerto Rico Ports Authority Executive Director Joel A. Pizá Batiz said Monday.

The Ports chief said Rafael Hernández International Airport (BQN by its air code) in Aguadilla registered 280,369 passengers between January and April of this year, compared to 193,861 registered in the same period of 2022. That represents an increase of 86,508 passengers. Mercedita International Airport in Ponce (PSE) meanwhile registered 86,232 passengers compared to the 52,741 for the same comparative period, representing 33,491 additional passengers.

In the air cargo area, the BQN recorded 47,805,048 pounds versus 39,517,730 pounds in the same comparative period, which equates to an additional 8,287,318 pounds, or a 20.9% increase. For its part, the PSE registered 5,999,210 pounds versus 3,779,554 pounds in the same comparative period, which is equivalent to an additional 2,219,656 pounds, or an increase of 58.9%.

“We are pleased with these achievements in increasing passengers and air cargo, as we have been working toward that, and to maximize the development of our facilities,” Pizá Batiz said. “These statistics reflect that we are in a consistent recovery, considering that the comparative periods include the low season for aviation in Puerto Rico, which are the months of February and March.”

Puerto Rico Tourism Company Executive Director Carlos Mercado Santiago added that “as we recently announced, the closing projections for fiscal year 2023 point to historically high figures in all lines of the tourism sector, including with regard to air access.”

“The collaborative work between the Government of Puerto Rico and the airlines that provide service in Puerto Rico has yielded positive results during recent months, driving an exponential increase in passenger traffic at the regional airports of Ponce and Aguadilla,” he said. “We are committed to continuing to facilitate the expansion of routes, and their frequency, that operate from these airports, with the purpose of expanding the offer for consumers and promoting economic development and tourism activity in all regions of the island.”

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