Passenger Count Increases at Capital Airport

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Last year was a pretty good year for Capital Airport in Springfield.

More than 123,000 passengers boarded flights at Capital Airport in 2003, an 11-percent increase from the previous year. In 2002 the airport increased its passenger boardings by nearly 50-percent.

Still executive director Eric Frankl and other local officials find the increase hard to celebrate. That's partly because numbers began to drop in November, when American-Connection reduced its flights to St. Louis.

United Express and ATA Connection attempted to land some of that business by each adding a flight. Even so, approximately 1,000 fewer passengers boarded flights at the Springfield airport in November and December compared to the same months in