Wilmington Airport Surpasses 10,000 Enplanements

March 31, 2023

Wilmington Airport Surpasses 10,000 Enplanements

Airport Hits Key Mark in Less Than Two Months; Eligible for Additional Federal Funding 

NEW CASTLE, Del. – Today, the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) officials announced that the Wilmington Airport (ILG) will again be categorized as a “Primary Commercial Service Airport (CSA), surpassing 10,000 enplanements (passenger boardings of commercial flights) for the second time in the past three years.  The Airport hit the milestone after less than two months since the restoration of service on February 1st.  In 2021, Wilmington Airport also had shed its longstanding federal designation as a General Aviation Reliever Airport. 

On February 1, 2023, Avelo Airlines began service at the Wilmington Airport with 149-seat, Boeing Next-Generation (NG) 737 aircraft, with flights to five Florida destinations: Orlando (MCO), West Palm Beach (PBI), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Tampa (TPA), and Fort Myers (RSW).  In total, nearly 22,000 passengers have either boarded or disembarked an Avelo Airlines flight at the Wilmington Airport. 

Having met the industry recognized enplanement criteria associated with primary commercial service airports (10K annual enplanements), ILG will programmatically be able to assume an annual federal primary entitlement of $1 million, a net increase of $850,000.  As a General Aviation Reliever Airport, ILG previously earned a non-primary entitlement of $150,000.

“Avelo Airlines and Wilmington Airport continue to enjoy robust demand for scheduled air service to great destinations,” said Stephen D. Williams, Deputy Executive Director of the DRBA.  “The Airport is the only one in Delaware to be classified as a Primary CSA, and this important designation significantly boosts eligibility for additional federal entitlement dollars.  We’re proud to achieve this milestone again and, if the trend in demand continues, 50,000 enplanements will be quickly on the horizon.”

Williams also noted that Wilmington Airport – ILG is one of only 383* airports nationwide to be classified as a CSA facility. 

                  2023 Enplanements at ILG
                  February                        5300
                  March (as of 3/29)         5966

                             Total Passengers at ILG
                                              Departing        Arriving        Total
    Fort Lauderdale (FLL)        2,013              1,742            3,755 
    Orlando (MCO)                     3,112               2,806           5,918 
    West Palm Beach (PBI)      2,036              1,777            3,813 
    Fort Myers (RSW)                2,006              1,830           3,836 
    Tampa (TPA)                         2,099              1,949           4,048 

ILG stands to earn more entitlement dollars as the annual enplanement numbers rise from 10,000 to 50,000.  The annual minimum is $1 million (net $850,000 for ILG) and the annual maximum is $26 million per airport.  In addition to the entitlement dollars, ILG is also eligible to received revenue from the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) program.  ILG’s current PFC Program is authorized to collect up to $1.3 million until 2024.  Each passenger boarding earns the airport a net of $4.39.

About the Delaware River and Bay Authority
The DRBA, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962, owns and operates the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Cape May- Lewes Ferry, and the Delaware City – Salem Ferry Crossing.  The DRBA also manages corporate and aviation properties through its economic development powers - two airports in New Jersey (Millville Airport and Cape May Airport) and three in Delaware (New Castle Airport, Civil Air Terminal and Delaware Airpark). All DRBA operating revenues are generated through the bridge, ferry and airport facilities.  For more information, visit www.drba.net

*National Plan of Integrated Airports Systems (2023-2027)