ESCANABA - The final numbers are not in yet, but the Delta County Airport could have enough 2010 enplanements (passenger boardings) to qualify for $1 million in federal funding.
To qualify for the funds, the airport must reach 10,000 enplanements.
The funding would be used by the airport for maintenance and other projects associated with the airport, including runway and ramp resurfacing and painting.
Passengers wait in line to pass through security at the Delta County Airport.
If the Delta County Airport does reach the necessary enplanements, it would receive the $1 million beginning in 2012.
According to Delta County Airport Manager Connie Ness, the total number of emplanements is currently being tallied; preliminary numbers are expected to be released by the federal Department of Transportation in late March or early April.
"Our numbers indicate we may be close to the 10,000 mark," said Ness. "As part of the counting process, it is not only the number of enplanements reported by Northwest/Delta Airlines, but also charter flights from Delta County."
Ness said the preliminary figures of enplanements, not including charter flights, was approximately 8,900 between Jan. 1 and Dec. 30, 2010.
The actual number of emplanements won't be released until October when the Department of Transportation issues its report, added Ness.
Preliminary information concerning the DOT audit is anticipated to be released sometime in April.
"While our records reflect 8,900 enplanements, we don't have the charter flight numbers (because) those are reported directly to the DOT by those charters," said Ness. She also said when Northwest/Delta Airlines added a third flight in 2010, the number of enplanements grew during the last quarter, leading to the potential of the airport reaching the 10,000 mark.
"We are very close for reaching that mark for 2010, and we are well on our way to reaching 10,000 enplanements for 2011," said Ness.