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Columbus airports end 2023 with second-best year on record for passenger travel

The Columbus mosaic in the terminal in Columbus airport from below.

COLUMBUS, OH – The Columbus Regional Airport Authority (CRAA) ended 2023 with one of the best years in Columbus history for passenger air service. Travel volumes increased by 12% over 2022, with 8.7 million passengers traveling through John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) and the Rickenbacker Passenger Terminal (LCK), the second-best year on record for these airports. New air service opportunities announced in 2023 brought the total number of nonstop destinations to 53, the most ever available to Columbus travelers.

“Our dedicated CRAA team along with our incredible airport partners made this one of our best years yet for passenger travel,” said Joseph R. Nardone, President & CEO of CRAA. “As air service options continue to grow, we look forward to welcoming even more travelers to our airports in 2024.” 

Air service developments in 2023 included:

  • Nonstop service to Orange County with Breeze Airways launched
  • Nonstop service to Minneapolis launched with the inaugural flight of Sun Country Airlines
  • Nonstop service to Salt Lake City announced by Delta Air Lines
  • Nonstop service to San Diego and Kansas City announced by Southwest Airlines

Rickenbacker continues to serve as a premier air cargo gateway with a healthy diversification of shipments ranging from fashion to electronics, automotive and medical supplies. In 2023 CRAA facilitated 1.39 million square feet of new warehouse development in the Rickenbacker Global Logistics Park and completed another phase of construction of Rickenbacker Parkway, opening additional property for development. Specialized handling grew, with the airport’s USDA certified live animal Export Inspection Facility having its busiest year to date for animals transiting the facility.

2023 by the numbers:

  • 8.7 million passengers flew through CMH and LCK
  • 50,000+ guests attended the Columbus Air Show at LCK, which made a return after 16 years
  • 7,800+ live animals exported by air from LCK
  • 1,300+ runners and walkers participated in the fifth volunteer driven Runway 5K Run & Walk at CMH resulting in a donation of $90,000 to Honor Flight Columbus
  • 90% carbon emissions reduction targeted by 2030, earning CMH Level 2 of the Airport Carbon Accreditation Program
  • 60% completion of design development phase of new CMH terminal project
  • 23% increase in available charging outlets with deployment of new power units throughout CMH
  • 15% more volunteer hours contributed with Paw Force One pet therapy program
  • 6 retail locations completed renovations to enhance the shopping experience at CMH including Astor Park exchange, CMH Supply Company, Scioto Mercantile, Broad & High, and both Columbus Marketplaces
  • 5 food and beverage concepts renovated and expanded at CMH, including Wolfgang Puck Kitchen Counter, Chili’s Too, Vino Volo, and Eddie George’s Grille 27
  • 2 CRAA employees certified as unmanned aircraft systems (UAS/drone) pilots, enabling more efficient inspection of airfield conditions

Airport b-roll footage & photos

About CRAA

The Columbus Regional Airport Authority connects Ohio with the world by managing and operating passenger-focused John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH), cargo-focused Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK), and general aviation airport Bolton Field (TZR). Columbus travelers have access to 53 nonstop destinations via CMH and LCK, more than ever before in airport history. Visit our destinations page to see where we’re flying and stay connected with CRAA online.

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