Air travel’s taking off again in Iowa. The Des Moines International airport Friday announced it’s finalized the count of travelers last year. Airport spokesman Roy Criss says “emplanements” set a new record of 911,063 which beats the old record set in 1996. Emplanements and deplanements in all totaled just over one-point-eight million, so airport managers hopt to reach a total of 2-Million this year. In the middle of the last decade, low-fare competitors attracted public interest, though travel leveled off late in the nineties. But after the attacks of September eleventh 2001, aviation business took a big hit, and Criss says recovering from that has been a big victory.He says people are getting confidence back with time, and the economy’s in good shape so people are willing to spend their discretionary income to fly. Still, Des Moines is beating national trends. Most commercial airports in the U.S. in 2003 saw an increase of barely one-percent in traffic, but Des Moines International had an increase of three-point-two percent. Of Iowa’s eight airports with commercial service, Des Moines has about twice the traffic of the next largest, at Cedar Rapids.
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