ALBURY Airport passenger numbers have risen 6.5 per cent in the past 12 months, but remain shy of the record set in 2009-10.
Albury Council released the figures for the 2016-17 financial year on Monday with 262,545 passengers passing through the terminal, compared with 246,512 passengers in the previous financial year.
Passenger numbers peaked with 289,298 in 2009-10 after jumping from 282,201 a year earlier.
Mayor Kevin Mack said the spike this year could be attributed to the introduction of new flights to and from Queensland, improved marketing and brand awareness campaigns, and Albury hosting major conferences and other functions.
“The rise in passenger numbers is a credit to efforts by our four airline partners and airport staff to enhance the airport’s role as the region’s gateway to the world,” Cr Mack said.
“It also reflects the strength of the region’s economic pulling power, whether as a destination for conferences and business, or for arrivals of people taking holidays at local attractions such as the snowfields."
The 2016-17 result is the best since 2011-12 when 276,762 passengers used the airport.
A Brisbane-Albury service was started by JetGo 12 months ago and the airline announced recently the introduction of a Gold Coast-Albury service.
The improved passenger numbers also match data recently released in the latest Albury-Wodonga visitor economy trends report.
It revealed tourism injected $742.5 million into the economy, up from $613 million in 2015.
Domestic overnight visitor spend increased by 46 per cent to $175 and international visitors increased by 31 per cent during 2016.
Albury-Wodonga events attracted more than 197,000 people in 2016 and generated an estimated $47.5 million.
The two events which created the biggest economic spin-off were the Australian Polocrosse National Championships ($8 million) and Australian Country Junior Basketball Cup ($4.2 million) with the latter an annual money-spinner.
The airport is undergoing its latest major redevelopment with a $4.7 million expansion more than doubling the size of the terminal building footprint.
The key features include a bigger arrivals hall, dual baggage carousels and larger departure lounge.