Believe it or not, FNT has been near the top in recent years. More or less, due to additional service from FL
which has leveled off some. AA
(Eagle) re-entering the market with ORD
, and soon to launch DFW
has helped raise the numbers significantly.
FNT is a very economically depressed town in a economicly depressed region. However they have done an excellent job of becoming a DTW
alternative, particularly for the Northern suburbs/exurbs and also for stealing a huge about of traffic from other Mid-Michigan airports (MBS & LAN particularly) as have a good number of destinations and air fares for an airport of its size.
Very true that these numbers can be distorted for a number of reasons. Some airports are so small that one new airline entering the market will dramaticly raise the enplanements and then show a huge growth rate.
Some growth is due to increased air service, longer term growth is more or less a reflection of the growth in the local population and economy.
Example being some of the rediculous growth rates small airports in the Mid-Atlantic & Southeast showed when Independence Air launched a few years back. Then when DH
collapsed, they showed huge declines and were portrayed to be in dire shape, which was far from the truth. In reality, there is a story being all of the numbers.