SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) — Syracuse Hancock International Airport is experiencing a year of record-breaking growth in 2023. In 2019, Syracuse Hancock International Airport had its busiest year in three decades, dating back to when reliable records began.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant decline in airport travel. Since then, traffic has been steadily and impressively rebounding post-pandemic, up to today.
In 2023, Syracuse Hancock International Airport has seen an 8% increase in passenger traffic compared to its record-smashing year of 2019.
Matt Szwejbka, customer experience manager for the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority, stated, “It is fair to say that we are on pace for the busiest year in the history of this airport’s existence.”
According to Szwejbka, the biggest challenge is accommodating this rapid growth. On Friday, Oct. 6, 5,900 passengers departed from Syracuse Hancock International Airport, marking the busiest day in the airport’s history.
To put that into perspective, in 2019, they were excited when there were 4,000 passengers going out on a day, Szwejbka said.
With the holidays coming up, the airport is only going to get even busier.
It’s very reasonable to say that this holiday season will be record breaking because if we’re already 8% above our record smashing year of 2019, it’s fair to say that the holiday peak is going to be extremely busy,” Szwejbka said.
A long-standing belief about flying out of Syracuse is that you could arrive at the airport just 30 minutes before your flight and still be on time.
“Syracuse was this airport. You could show up a half hour before your flight and there were no issues, but especially during those peak to peak departure banks. If you’re not getting here 2 hours before your flight, you’re going to risk missing that flight,” Szwejbka said.
To help the lines move faster and handle the traffic better, a sixth TSA screening lane will be added sometime after Thanksgiving and before Christmas, according to Szwejbka.
In addition to arriving two hours before your flight, Szwejbka recommends utilizing the airport’s online parking reservation system to save time and guarantee a parking spot. Stay updated on the latest flight status information, familiarize yourself with the airport’s amenities, including lounges and other facilities, to make the most of your time at the airport and check the airport’s website to stay informed about the latest news, services, and facilities available.