MOLINE -- A Quad City International Airport consultant said he believes the airport is near "the bottom" on declining passenger boardings and should start to climb back up.
Mike Bown, of Trillion Aviation, an Austin, Texas, consulting company, said after Tuesday's airport board meeting that there may be more slight declines, but "are we going to go down another 100,000 enplanements? No."
The number of passengers boarding planes in May was 34,374, down from 37,683 in May 2011.
Airport officials have attributed the continued decline to the loss of AirTran service on Jan. 6.
However, Allegiant service has increased and, with it, so has the number of passengers.
So far this year, the number of people boarding Allegiant planes has increased from 16,202 to 25,365. In May, 4,985 boarded, compared to 3,775 in May 2011.
Allegiant offers service to Orlando, Las Vegas, Phoenix-Mesa and St. Petersburg.
Airport lease discussions with Allegiant are under way and include talks about Allegiant's future plans for Moline. The current three-year lease ends in summer 2014.
In other business, the board:
Learned Bryan Johnson, airport assistant director of aviation, earned Accredited Airport Executive (AAE) status through the American Association of Airport Executives.
Learned decommissioning of Runway 10/28 should be completed by the end of July. The temporary runway built for use during renovation of the main runway is being converted into a taxiway.
Today is Wednesday, June 19, the 170th day of 2013. There are 195 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: The treasurer of Mercer County has been instructed to sell all thespecie now in the treasury for the highest premium in legal tender and to report same atthe next board meeting. 1888 -- 125 years ago: J.S. Freeman has been elected president of the Recreation Club ofthe Rock Island YMCA. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Rock Island voters will decide next Tuesday on the proposal toconsolidate with South Rock Island Township. 1938 -- 75 years ago: The Rev. Frederick J. Rolf will round out his 30th year as pastor ofthe Evangelical Church of Peace at Sunday worship services. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Dennis Kelly, of Moline High School, has been named a winner inTime Magazine's 27th annual current affairs contest. 1988 -- 25 years ago: The Martin Luther King Community Center will participate in theSummer Food Service Program. Free meals will be made available to all children 18years of age and younger.