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2023 Was Syracuse Airport’s Busiest Year Ever


2.86 million travelers passed through Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR) in 2023, making it the busiest year in the airport’s history, while surpassing 2019 traffic levels – a 30-year record for the airport – by 11%.

While traffic levels are surging at airports across the country, Department of Transportation (DOT) data shows SYR is one of the fastest-growing airports in the nation. Multiple factors have contributed to this rate of growth, which is more than double the national average for commercial airports. Hub routes previously served by smaller, regional aircraft (50–70 seats) are now served by larger, mainline aircraft (approximately 109–240 seats). Additionally, new routes and increased frequencies on existing routes continue to be announced as airlines take advantage of SYR’s cost-competitive position.

The changing makeup of the airport’s catchment area, or the area SYR draws passengers from, has proven to be a significant growth factor. Emerging from the pandemic, airlines began to question the economic viability of running smaller, regional aircraft to surrounding, smaller regional airports such as Watertown, Ithaca, Elmira, and Binghamton. Our airline partners are instead choosing to funnel this demand from surrounding communities through SYR by running more frequent, larger mainline aircraft. A direct correlation has been observed between the reduction in traffic at these nearby, small regional airports and the dramatic uptick in passengers at SYR.

“We are uniquely aware of and sensitive to the changing traffic patterns within our catchment area,” said SRAA Executive Director Jason Terreri. “Planning for the future is now done through the lens of regional responsibility, ensuring our team and facilities can meet the demand of the entire population residing within the Central New York service area.”

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