HIGHER than expected car rentals and improved tourism have led to Launceston Airport recording its busiest month on record.
Data released yesterday showed that 133,946 passengers used the airport in January this year, which was 5 per cent more than the airport's previous record month in January 2013.
Passenger data includes inbound and outbound Jetstar, Qantas, Virgin and Sharp flights.
Airport general manager Paul Hodgen said the balance in the third quarter of data was in favour of inbound flights.
``We have seen that reflected in car rentals,'' he said.
``Car rental activity has been higher than anticipated, while both long-term and short-term car parking, which is normally indicative of outbound travellers, has just been on par.''
Mr Hodgen said while Melbourne services still had by far the greatest frequency, there was good passenger growth across inbound services.
``Events that have helped have been things like the V8 Supercars and AFL Hawks games, they have all helped to really boost numbers during that quarter,'' he said.
The third quarter, January to March 2014, shows 3 per cent passenger growth, compared with the same quarter in 2012-13.
In the 12 months to March 2014, there was 5 per cent passenger growth, compared with the previous year.
Mr Hodgen said the airport had also boosted security, with the introduction on May 1 of a new, multiview x-ray machine and the capacity for a second walk-through metal detector screening point. A new security provider also began on the same day, as well as a new screening configuration aimed at improving efficiency.
The airport aims to complete a ``premium'' undercover car park, a road linking directly to the roundabout on Evandale Road and a new staging area for buses and taxis, in time for the December Christmas holidays.