Passenger Increase at WB/Scranton Airport from Gas Drilling

There are many positive economic effects from shale gas drilling on nearby communities. Hotels and motels are some of the first to feel the effects, and restaurants. Grocery stores see an increase, as well as stores that sell clothes and shoes and other supplies. Short-line railroads also see a pickup in business from hauling materials, especially sand.

You can also add airports to the list of those organization that see a positive impact from shale gas drilling. The latest example: the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport has seen an uptick in passengers in the past year, due to Marcellus Shale gas drilling.

The number of passengers at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport rose to 464,560 last year, the largest annual total since 1999, according to statistics released at the airport’s bi-county board meeting Thursday.

Airport Director Barry Centini attributed the 7-percent increase to the Marcellus Shale gas boom. The total was 475,845 in 1999 and 433,972 in 2010.

A surge in out-of-state travelers has contributed to the increase in passenger totals, Centini said, noting 20 percent of vehicles parked at the airport are from other states.*

*Wilkes-Barre The Citizens’ Voice (Jan 20, 2012) – Airport ridership rose in 2011