Air travel in and out of the Rogue Valley topped 50,000 passengers last month as the Medford airport recorded its third-best May ever.

Airport sees to strong May numbers

MEDFORD — Air travel in and out of the Rogue Valley topped 50,000 passengers last month as the Medford airport recorded its third-best May ever.

Passenger activity grew 3.5 percent over the previous May as 52,946 travelers passed through the gates. The record for the month is 56,398, set in 2007.

It was the 12th-straight month of gains for the airport. However, May was the first month in 2010 where double-digit, year-over-year gains weren't recorded. Through four months, passenger activity was running 13.3 percent ahead of 2009, however, the figure fell to 10.9 percent after May.

"I think it's the result of a couple of things," Airport Director Bern Case said of the slower growth. "Sometimes the shift in holidays from year to year makes a difference during a particular month."

While Allegiant Air and United Express posted double-digit gains, Delta Connection saw a 4.9 percent drop and Horizon Air saw a 3.3 percent fall in passenger count.

"I was glad to be up again after so many down months that we had for a while," Case said. "Anytime you break 50,000, that's a pretty good month for us and I'm expecting June to be better."

He attributed his optimism to additional departure times that will be available during the summer vacation period.

There are presently 23 daily commercial airline departures from Medford, up one from a year ago.

— Staff reports