Flying the friendly skies really paid off for one Sioux Falls man who received an early Christmas present on Thursday, December 22 (2016) from the Sioux Falls Regional Airport.

Justin Weise returned home from Orlando on Thursday morning around 9:30 to find out he was the 1 millionth passenger to go through the terminal in 2016. For helping the airport achieve this milestone, airport executives surprised Weise with two roundtrip ticket vouchers from Allegiant Air, a cake and other assorted prizes including a $500 gift card and free parking for his next trip.

Image used with the permission of KDLT TV

KDLT TV is reporting this was only the third time Weise has ever flown, now, thanks to this surprise it won’t be his last.

This is the sixth consecutive year the Sioux Falls Regional Airport has seen a record number of passengers come through its terminal. But the first time the airport has welcomed their millionth passenger throughout the course of a year.

We can attribute this milestone to the growth of Sioux Falls, according to Sioux Falls Regional Airport Executive Director Dan Letellier.  He says the airport has averaged about a three percent growth each year for the last 20 years.

The Sioux Falls Airport can accommodate up to 1.5 million passengers a year. Given that kind of growth, Letellier says the airport will need to look into adding more parking within the next few years.

Source: KDLT TV

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