Bad news continues for Bob Hope Airport

This post has been corrected. See details below.

The number of passengers traveling through Bob Hope Airport fell by double digits for the second straight month in February, dropping 11.6%.

The airport handled 282,073 passengers in February, down from 309,259 in February 2012, according to statistics released Monday during a meeting of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority.

The latest decline follows a 12% nosedive in January. That drop, which surprised airport staff, came after a year that saw a steady slide in passengers.

Dan Feger, the airport's executive director, gave his report quickly and none of the commissioners commented on the statistics.

Feger did tell commissioners that some of the decline could be attributed to the fact that 2012 was a leap year, and so February 2013 was one day – or roughly 3% – shorter by comparison.

So far this year, the airport has seen 575,717 passengers, a 10.4% drop from 642,789 passengers during the first two months of 2012.

The airport has been facing challenges with airline changes during the past 14 months.

In February 2012, American Airlines halted its operations at Bob Hope, a factor that has been cited repeatedly by staff to explain some of the passenger declines.

This past January, JetBlue Airways eliminated all daytime flights at the airport. There were 6,874 JetBlue passengers in February, compared to 21,075 in February 2012, a 67% drop.

In contrast, passenger numbers at other airports in the region didn't show a similar drop, increasing 6.1% at John Wayne Airport and basically holding steady with a 0.4% increase at Los Angeles International Airport. However, Ontario Airport, which has also been struggling with dwindling numbers of passengers, saw an 8.2% decline.

One relative bright spot for Bob Hope Airport was a decrease in parking revenues that was mild. Those numbers declined 3% in February, Feger said.

"I won't call it good news, but it's a positive note," Feger said.

He said that when the 2012 leap year is taken into account, parking revenues were essentially flat. The airport brought in roughly $1.39 million in February compared to $1.43 million in February 2012.

Parking revenues, which make up about 40% of the airport's total revenues, declined by 4.8% in January, but the drops were much higher during the last half of 2012.

Feger said the smaller parking-rate declines signaled that recent rate increases in the airport's parking lots are working.


Follow Daniel Siegal on Google+ and on Twitter: @Daniel_Siegal.

[For the record, April 4, 2013: An earlier version of this story had an incorrect figure for the number of passengers the airport has handled so far this year.]

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