Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - 2018 was a record-setting year for the Rochester International Airport. Officials today reported that over 366,500 people flew in and out of the airport last year. That represents a 26% percent increase over 2017 and broke the old passenger record of just over 344,500 that was set in 1977.

“We are incredibly grateful for the increased support,” said John Reed, RST’s executive director. “Local travelers are understanding their choice of airport can have a positive impact on our region and more often are choosing to Fly Local.”

Reed also indicated the airport has a strong case for establishing service to a western hub, perhaps Denver or Dallas, but he also stressed require local travelers to fill the planes currently serving Rochester to demonstrate the demand for more options.

A news release issued by the Rochester Airport notes it enjoyed an increase in flight options in 2018. United Airlines established new service, Delta Airlines boosted the number of flights to the Twin Cities and Atlanta from Rochester, and American airlines started using larger aircraft for flights involving the Rochester Airport. The report also states that over the past few years, retention of local travelers has doubled from 12% to 24%.