DENVER -- March traffic at Stapleton International Airport rose 3.7% from the same period a year ago to more than 3 million passengers, city of Denver officials said.

A total of 3,006,807 travelers used the airport in March, compared to 2,899,838 million during the same month last year. The March numbers brought the 1994 total to 7,983,882 passengers, up 4.4% from the first quarter of 1993, city statistics show.

Passengers totals are considered important to the success of Denver International Airport, which has about $2.7 billion of bonds outstanding, opens because fees are based on a per passenger formula. Last week, a faulty baggage system delayed the opening of the multibillion-dollar airport for a fourth time.

"We are continuing a pattern of steady, sustained growth in passenger traffic that goes back several years," aviation director Jim DeLong said of Stapleton. "And, just an importantly, our aircraft operations and cargo handling figures are reflecting the same type of growth."

Cargo poundage handled in Denver rose almost 5% for the month of March and 4.6% for the first quarter.

The passenger totals reflect one cutback by Continental Airlines from 139 flights a day to 102, but not a more recently announced cutback to about 80 flights a day.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.