Wilmington-New Castle Airport Surpasses 10,000 Enplanements

November 30, 2021

Wilmington-New Castle Airport Surpasses 10,000 Enplanements

Airport Eligible for Additional Federal Funding 

NEW CASTLE, Del. – Today, the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) officials announced that the Wilmington – New Castle Airport (ILG) has surpassed 10,000 enplanements (boardings of commercial flights) for the year, officially becoming a “Primary Commercial Service Airport (CSA)” and shedding its earlier designation as a General Aviation Reliever Airport under established Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) criteria. The designation will be effective for the Federal Fiscal Year 2023.

Having met the federal enplanement criteria associated with primary airports (10K annual enplanements), ILG will now programmatically be able to assume a minimum annual federal entitlement of $1 million, a net increase of $850,000.  As a General Aviation Reliever Airport, ILG had historically been entitled to $150,000 annually.

“Wilmington – New Castle Airport is now one of only 385 airports nationwide – and the only such airport in Delaware – to be classified as a Primary CSA,” said Stephen D. Williams, Deputy Executive Director and Airport Director of the DRBA.  “In addition to the boost in federal entitlement dollars, the primary CSA designation also has significance within the airline, cargo, and commercial airport communities. It further validates the airport’s regional recognition as a low-cost leader with growing preference as an alternative, ease of use secondary airport serving the Philadelphia Metro area.  This milestone confirms that our customers really like our small airport, no hassle travel experience.” 

2021 Enplanements at ILG
    February        635
    March          1313
    April             1332
    May               854
    June            1110
    July             1689
    August        1584
    September   645
    October      1132
    November    698

On February 11, 2021, scheduled commercial service returned to Delaware as Frontier Airlines resumed service to Orlando, Florida.  Frontier serves the ILG market with the 180-seat, Airbus A320. 

As a CSA, ILG stands to earn even 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 entitlement dollars, ILG also earns revenue from the FAA’s 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