Baton Rouge airport wants to study lost potential business; Via gone

    Baton Rouge Metro Airport officials are seeking approval from the Metro Council this evening for a study that would look at the number of passengers the airport could have but is losing to other airports, such as Lafayette and New Orleans.

    The “leakage study,” to be completed by Martin Kammerman with UBMi Princeton, an air industry consulting firm, will determine the airport’s “true market demand,” according to airport spokesman Jim Caldwell.

    “All airports in a geographic region leak to each other,” Caldwell says. “We are also the recipient of some leakage.”

    In other airport news, Caldwell told Daily Report that Via Air has discontinued its services across the U.S. The discount airline began dropping service to and from Baton Rouge in February, and in May suspended most of its flights across the country, citing a pilot shortage.

    Caldwell says the airport commissions a leakage study roughly every four years, though previous studies have focused on “outbound leakage,” or business lost to other airports. Because of software improvements, Caldwell says the upcoming study will also look at “inbound leakage,” business the airport loses when people fly into other area airports and then travel to Baton Rouge by other means.

    Ultimately the study will help the airport recruit new airlines or flights, says Caldwell, who expects the $17,500 study to be completed in 30 days.

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