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By English

The number of passengers using Odate-Noshiro Airport this year (from April of two years ago to March of this year) is expected to "land" close to the record of the Reiwa first year, which was just before the COVID-19 pandemic. This is according to cumulative data based on the number of users in February released by the prefecture on the 15th. The recovery trend from COVID-19, as well as the increase to three round trips, are also pushing this growth.

The airport opened in July 1998 with three routes to Tokyo (Haneda), Osaka (Itami), and Sapporo (New Chitose). The Sapporo route was effectively abolished in November of the following year, and the Osaka route in January 2011, with only the Haneda route remaining. Since July of last year, the Haneda route has been operating three round trips, and local governments and related organizations are working to promote its use in order to establish it.

Looking at the annual number of users at the airport for the past five years, there were 151,669 people in Heisei 30 (2018), 149,795 people in the Reiwa first year (April only for Heisei 31), a sharp decrease to 24,531 people in the year most affected by COVID-19 (the second year of Reiwa), some recovery to 45,610 people in the third year of Reiwa, and 134,395 people as of the end of February in the fourth year of Reiwa.

The month with the most users this fiscal year was October, which was the only month with more than 15,000 users at 15,571. The month with the fewest users was April when the effects of COVID-19 were still strong, with only 7,973 users. Since December of last year, there have been 12,942 users in December, 12,635 users in January, and 12,772 users in February, maintaining the 12,000 user range for three consecutive months.

Assuming that the number of users this month will be similar to that of March of the Reiwa first year (12,009 users), which was the last month before the effects of COVID-19, the final number of users for this fiscal year will be approximately 146,000. However, considering the background of one additional round trip compared to before COVID-19 and the increasing interest in tourism, it is expected that 148,000 to 149,000 users may be possible, approaching the record of 149,795 users in the Reiwa first year. The monthly number of users based on the previous year's comparison created by the prefecture is shown in the table below.

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