NS peanut gallery sent in a link to some of the latest stats on airport usage across the nation
. What is more interesting is if you dig into the data for Pennsylvania airports you get this:
Percentage Change in Seats on Departing Flights - Aug 09 - Aug 10
Clearly some small number effects there in the percentages. The much maligned
Murtha Airport in Johnstown had a +35% increase, which I presume means they went from 2 puddle jumpers to 3, but it still adds up to a capcity of 116 seats per day on average. Nonetheless most PA airports had year over year changes in capacity far beyond the 0.3% growth for the US overall. Sure seems to me that the cause is most likely the demand caused by the new Marcellus Shale workers we keep reading about. So now go back and read the latest news coverage on usage trends at the airport here. The short news item pointed out how traffic at the airport was up for a 2nd straight month
without much digging into why. Gotta be some reason for this mostly statewide trend.
Why could the big Marcellus rush be impacting the airline industry? With all the activity we know about going on in new Marcellus development, there is clearly a certain lack of local hiring. Those workers would have to be coming from somewhere. In fact, the latest data on employment in the entire "mining and logging" industries shows an actual tick downward
over the previous month. To be fair, statewide employment in those industries continues to tick up and is now at its highest level since 1991
Speaking of Marcellus.. if the hope was that we would become a major international exporter of natural gas, then some recent analysis from Europe
puts those projections to task. Worth reading.