Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP) is a non-hub airport with more than 300,000 annual enplanements. RAP serves a significant tourism base with millions of visitors annually. The Black Hills region of South Dakota is home to numerous national parks and monuments including Mount Rushmore. Due to Rapid City’s remote location, air service at RAP is extremely important to the community.
Air service had been declining at RAP since 2010. To counter this trend, RAP enlisted Mead & Hunt. Our team worked to determine ideal markets and passengers to target for new air service. Mead & Hunt completed a True Visitation Estimate using nationwide cell phone data to understand the travel patterns and demand for out-of-state visitors. This helped identify key market pairs not easily identified through traditional methods.
Mead & Hunt prepared market analyses for numerous new routes and presented opportunities to airlines. Consequently, RAP has added new nonstop service on American Airlines to Charlotte, New York-LaGuardia and Phoenix. Delta Air Lines added nonstop service to Atlanta and Detroit. United Airlines added nonstop service to Newark, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Allegiant Air added seasonal service to 10 different markets. Each airline has also increased capacity.