MSP Airport sees record number of passengers in 2017

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport saw a record number of passengers last year, extending an eight-year growth streak following both the bankruptcies and mergers of Northwest and Delta and the post-2008 recession.

In total, 38,034,341 people boarded planes in 2017, a 1.4 percent increase over 2016. The previous record of 37,604,373 was set in 2005. The amount of cargo was also up more than 11 percent from 2016, with nearly 229,440 tons coming through the airport. 

Despite this increase, the flight activity at MSP has stayed much more steady over the last decade, with experts saying the disparity is is largely due to an industry shift to larger aircraft. That's good news for the environment says Brian Ryks, executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which owns and operates MSP and six general aviation airports.

MSP is Delta's second-largest hub--with over 70 percent of its traffic coming from the airline--though the biggest recent development for the airport is the growth of budget airlines like Spirit and Frontier, Ryks said.