The Palm Springs International Airport is not yet LAX. But it seems to be on a sort of Los Angeles-style trajectory when looking at the increasing number of passengers making their way through the 16-gate airport.The Palm Springs airport set a record in 2012, serving 1,727,122 travelers, eclipsing the old record of 1,610,943 passengers in 2007.
Passenger counts in 2012 were 14.3 percent higher than passenger counts in 2011.
The increased numbers are multi-fold, say airport officials.
Bob Elsner, who chairs the Palm Springs International Airport Commission, points to an improving tourism economy, but also a growing population base in the Coachella Valley and improved and increased commercial air service.
And then of course, making your way through Palm Springs’ airport is a walk in the park — somewhat literally, given the outdoor lawn area travelers can enjoy after clearing security — compared to large airports.
“Having been named one of America’s ‘most stress-free airports’ by SmarterTravel.com has helped boost passenger volume,” Elsner wrote in a recent email.
December marked the airport’s 14th consecutive month of year-over-year growth, according to airport statistics, as 176,595 passengers moved through the airport, a 7.1 percent increase.
“All in all, traveling in and out of Palm Springs International Airport is pleasurable and ‘hassle-free,’ ” Elsner said.
“I don’t think the record growth in 2012 can be attributed to a single factor — but instead it is most likely a combination of many favorable assets,” he added.