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Now boarding: Bringing passengers back to MHT

August 13. 2018 11:27PM

Working at an airport has its ups and downs.

Puns aside, the number of passengers flying in or out of Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT) has fallen by more than half since its peak in 2005. Traffic was trending upward this year, before a June full of thunderstorms and cancellations saw a 15 percent drop from last year.

Southwest Airlines, which plans to start flying some of its bigger jets into Manchester, is carrying more cargo than last year.

Boosting airport traffic will surely be a top priority for MHT’s next director. The board of aldermen plans to consider Mayor Joyce Craig’s nomination of Ted Kitchens on Tuesday evening.

Unlike the search for a new police chief, the airport search committee cast a wide net looking for candidates to take over at MHT. Two of the five finalists were current airport employees, but the committee unanimously recommended Kitchens, currently general manager of George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

Kitchens should consider dropping the “Boston.” Since adding it to the airport’s name in 2006, passenger counts have fallen year after year.

While we would not attribute this to the name change, it clearly hasn’t enticed tourists or business travelers. Let Manchester Airport stand proudly as the gateway to New Hampshire, and all of Northern New England.

Transportation Travel and commuting Editorial

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