b'72 ELP LANDSIDE DEVELOPMENTA Trans-Border Asset Despite notable non-aeronautical wins outside its airfield perimeter,Inevitably, we function as a two-airport system (with CJS). commercial aviation remains a core focus at El Paso InternationalTheir flights go south, and ours go north of the border, Rodriguez (ELP). The Texas airport served nearly 3.7 million passengers inexplains. There are about 500 (U.S.-based) passengers each day 2022, marking a full return to pre-pandemic volume. who cross the border to use the Juarez airport, and the busiest ELP offers flights to many U.S. destinations with more thanmass transit route in our city is from the (border) bridge to this 50 departures per day. Though its nonstop lineup touches onlyairport.14 markets, seven carriers combine to serve nine of the 10These days, trips through ELP are primarily for leisure travel busiest U.S. airports, allowing for easy one-stop itineraries, bothor visiting friends and relatives on either side of la frontera (the domestic and international. ELP also remains a key hub for troopborder). But prior to the pandemic, business traffic dominated. movements to and from the U.S. Armys Fort Bliss, and theMost was from workers who frequently moved between airports robust intra-Texas footprint includes nonstops to Austin,U.S. markets and Ciudad Jurez, which is known for its San Antonio, and both major airports in Dallas and Houston. maquiladorasfactories in Mexico run by foreign companies to Such air connectivity is vital to a remote community with theexport products back to their home nations. Rodriguez believes closest neighboring large- to mid-sized cities either over theELPs industrial expansion will recapture some of its lost business border (Mexicos Ciudad Jurez) or more than a four-hour drivetraffic.away (Albuquerque, NM and Tucson, AZ). The opportunity with this (aerospace and defense Were lucky in a sense because we have no closemanufacturing) initiative and how it translates back to airport competition, Aviation Director Sam Rodriguez says of ELPsoperations is pretty significant, says Rodriguez, who has focused vast catchment area. But its also unlucky. It certainly tends togreatly on diversifying ELPs revenue streams since he became drive up fares in our region because there is not a whole lot ofdirector in the spring of 2020, when COVID was still ravaging air competition.travel. Thanks to its location just north of the Rio Grande River, aElizabeth Triggs, director of Economic and International good portion of ELPs passenger base comes from NorthernDevelopment for the city of El Paso, also believes recent Mexico, particularly cities and towns within the state of Chihuahua.economic trends favor a further boost in air travel through the Travelers move north by buses or intra-Mexico flights to Ciudadregion. Jurezs Abraham Gonzalez International Airport (CJS), then transitWe are right on the border, not a couple miles away. So the the U.S.-Mexican land border before hopping domestic flightsway El Paso operates has a lot of permeability, explains Triggs. from ELP to other U.S. cities. A reverse pattern also holds true. This is one of the largest ports for Mexican trade, and with more near shoring, Mexico is starting to pick up some of the manufacturing that was overseas.It so much easiermore predictable, but also less expensiveto make products in Mexico and move them across the U.S. land border rather than depending on China or other countries where the supply chains have not been as consistent over the last couple of years, she continues. The airport comes into play because its a ton of land thats easily PlanningDELTA AIRPORT Engineering accessible, from the air or just a bit further south at CONSULTANTS, INC. Environmental the Bridge of the Americas. Industry Analysiswww.deltaairport.com Program Management Construction AdministrationBusiness & Financial PlanningMarch | April 2023AirportImprovement.com'