Sacramento International Airport has a lot of debt to pay off, but airport officials are a bit more optimistic right now. 

After years of declining passenger numbers at Sac International, airport head John Wheat says more people are flying so far this year.  

It's a modest increase of just under 2 percent, but he tells the Sacramento Bee that's a "big milestone" given the roughly 18 percent decrease from 2007 through last year. 

Of course, fewer fliers means fewer dollars for an airport that's supposed to be self-supporting.

Wheat believes the increase in passenger traffic and a 15 percent reduction in expenses in the airport is reason for optimism, as they face debt payments on the billion dollars spent to build the new Terminal B.