The 2015 total is 1.3 per cent more than the previous record of 336,789 passengers, set in 2014.
A press release issued by the airport said 2015 was marked by healthy traffic increases in the first nine months due to new routes and services by Sunwing and WestJet Encore, and additional capacity by Air Canada and Provincial Airlines. Combined with a strong tourism season, the airport set new monthly traffic records in July, August and September.
However, the last quarter of the year saw a decline in overall traffic affected by low oil prices and a general slowdown in the economy.
“We are pleased with last year’s results, but in the past few months we have experienced a downward trend in air travel due to a weak resource based economy and the impact it is having on commuting workers,” said Walter Dominie, chair of the airport authority, in the release.
Airport CEO Jamie Schwartz also acknowledged an anticipated slowdown.
“While there will be some increased demand for travel due to the low dollar, particularly in the tourism industry, we are forecasting a slower than normal year,” he said. “However, we do not expect that it will significantly impact our extensive services or our operation.”
The Deer Lake Regional Airport provides regular or seasonal domestic and charter passenger services with several airlines including Air Canada, Air Canada Express, Provincial Airlines, Sunwing, WestJet and WestJet Encore.