Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport Sees Record Number Of Passengers
A record that has stood for 33 years was finally broken in 2018 as the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport saw a record number of passengers board a flight last year.
Just under 21,000 people boarded a flight at the Brainerd Airport in 2018, breaking the record set in 1985 by less than 100 passengers. Currently, Brainerd Airport only has service to Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport twice a day, but it’s perfect for people trying to avoid the long drive as it only takes 20 minutes for a flight to reach the Twin Cities once it has taken off.
“We’ve all done it, I’ve done it – drive down to the Cities and get on an airplane, and that drive takes a long time, possibly six hours [both ways], and then if security is hassle in Minneapolis, possibly nine hours more to your trip,” Steve Wright, Brainerd’s Airport Director, said. “That’s a whole days of work that gets put into your schedule, and so it’s all about efficiency for this region.”
Wright also attributed the high number of passengers to the thriving Brainerd Lakes Economy and said the free parking at the Brainerd Airport has also helped bring in more flyers. Brainerd is now looking to expand its airport and possibly add service to a second city.
“The next step is either adding an additional flight or to get another airline that would give us a connection into another hub,” Wright said. “So, those are the projects we are working on right now, and we’re definitely seeing that there is potential for growth here.”
An open house is scheduled for June 29th to inform the public on the future of the Brainerd Airport.