Banner year for Island airport

Airport officials say most passengers on record flew through MVY.

Martha's Vineyard Airport had a banner year in 2023 with 78,000 passengers. —Eunki Seonwoo

More than 78,000 passengers flew through Martha’s Vineyard Airport in 2023, which airport director Geoff Freeman said is likely the highest number seen at the airport in a given year.

The increase is roughly 15 percent more passengers flying commercial, compared with 2022, when about 70,000 passengers were tracked.

Freeman said that while it might be the most recorded, he said it isn’t by a lot, and it reflects a general trend at the airport over the past few decades, with peaks and lows in the industry. The airport also isn’t required to track individuals who fly in private jets.

“It was a banner year,” Freeman said. But the airport manager said that they typically see around 70,000 passengers flying into the Vineyard on commercial flights. There have been highs close to 78,000 in the 1990s, and early 2000s as well.

The banner year also isn’t a reflection of more commercial planes flying into the area. He said it was more about the commercial airliners being loaded with more passengers.

Freeman said that the high mark likely reflects the economy and demographics visiting the Vineyard. Sometimes the private jet charters are more effective at retaining the market, with more high-end travelers; other times, as is the case now, commercial companies like JetBlue and American Airlines are effective at retaining customers.

Freeman also noted that the number of passengers using the airport is unlikely to get any higher.

“We’re at a maxed-out period,” Freeman said, adding that the airport can’t extend the runway, they can’t accept larger planes, and any upgrades at the facility are more to meet the current demand.  

Freeman did suggest that if commercial airlines started offering more flights during the shoulder season, then they could see more passengers. But for the summer, the peak season for the airport, he says, they are mostly maxed out.


  1. One man’s ‘banner’ is another man’s bummer. “Record Year” might have been a more unbiased headline, since islanders have mixed feelings about the growing number of airborne arrivals.

  2. Cheers for all the crews who work at the airport. I’d like to think they get some recognition for this….perhaps a bonus!

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