MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Federal Aviation Administration data shows 2018 was the busiest year on record for Alabama's largest airport.
More people boarded flights at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth in 2018 than in any year since 2008, according to the latest data available from the federal agency.
About 1.46 million people flew out of Birmingham total, followed by about 581,000 outbound passengers from the Huntsville International Airport, the second busiest air hub in the state.
Birmingham’s 1.46 million total enplanements, the number of people actually in seats on planes, ranked it 81st nationally, just behind Tulsa, Oklahoma, and just ahead of Albany, New York, data detailed on Al.com shows. That’s down from its highest ranking at 71st place in 2005, but up one spot since 2017.
Birmingham's Airport Authority President and CEO Ronald Mathieu attributed the increase in enplanements to the economy doing well, according to an email to the newspaper . He says that growth is expected to be reflected in 2019's numbers, too.