Bob Hope Airport saw a roughly 5.2% decline in passengers last year, however, officials were cautiously optimistic to see December numbers rise about 1.2%, according to the latest report.
The airport handled about 3.88 million passengers last year, down from slightly more than 4 million passengers in 2012, according to figures released Monday by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority.
There were 334,878 travelers in December, up from 330,966 in December 2012, making it one of three months that saw slight increases in passenger counts last year.
However, the airport took a hit in November, when the number of passengers fell almost 6.9% from 344,802 in November 2012 to 321,078 this past November.
“Southwest (Airlines) had a 4% decline in November,” said Dan Feger, the airport’s executive director. “In December, it reversed. Alaska, Delta, Southwest, United and U.S. Airways all posted gains.”
Bob Anderson, director of engineering and planning for the airport, said passenger counts tend to fluctuate due to external factors.
“It’s always a kind of wait-and-see to see how the economy is going,” Anderson said.
“The (December) numbers hopefully mean that we’re starting to see a recovery in terms of people who choose to fly,” Feger said. “I’m cautious to take one month or two months of positive performance and say this is now a trend. Each time we get a good month like this, we become hopeful that we’re now starting to see the effects of that long-term recession diminishing.”
Parking revenues remained strong at the end of the year, though it was a bit uneven because Thanksgiving travel spilled into December for returning passengers, said airport spokesman Victor Gill.
This past November, parking revenues were about $1.45 million, a decline from roughly $1.47 million in November 2012. In December, parking revenues rose 12%, following a national trend for Thanksgiving travelers this year, from approximately $1.32 million in December 2012 to $1.49 million last December.
“In 2013, we (were) actually pumping more money into the city of Burbank,” Feger said.
Passenger statistics at other airports in the region varied considerably. At Los Angeles International Airport, the number of passengers rose by 9.3%, while they ticked up 1.5% at Ontario International Airport, which reported passenger declines throughout most of last year.
John Wayne Airport saw passenger numbers rise 7.3% in December, while Long Beach Airport reported its number of passengers slid 3%.
Follow Tim Traeger on Twitter: @TraegerTim.