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Roanoke airport traffic jumps 644% in two months

Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport is continuing a trend of seeing more passengers

Roanoke Blacksburg Regional Airport sees traffic rebound
Roanoke Blacksburg Regional Airport sees traffic rebound

ROANOKE, Va. – Far fewer people are flying than they used to, but the industry is seeing a rebound.

In June 2020, 13,566 passengers flew into and out of Roanoke, that’s up from May’s 6,387 and April’s 1,823.

The airport’s increase from May to June represents an increase of 239 more passengers each day.

Compared to June 2019, the numbers are down 77%, with that month having 61,627 passengers.

The first six months of 2020 are also down, 55%, compared to the first half of 2019.

Airport officials are encouraged by the two months of increasing numbers.

“Passengers are confident in the measures implemented by the airlines and airport to ensure the safety of passengers. We hope to see this upward trend continue into the fall as the pandemic threat diminishes,” said Timothy Bradshaw, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission. “As airlines rebuild their schedules for the new demand environment, it is critical to use our air service to keep it and help our economy grow. We continue to appreciate the support of our community choosing to fly ROA and not driving out of market to fly.”

Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport marketing director Brad Boettcher said about 25,000 passengers are expected in July, which is nearly twice as much as June’s passenger total.

Boettcher said he is cautious about the increased traffic. He said personal air travel is rebounding, but business air travel is still virtually nonexistent.

“It’s a really fluid situation,” Boettcher said. “Everyday I come in, I’m not sure what it’s going to be. Are we going to be getting more service and more passengers, or will it be a situation where those passenger counts start dropping?”

About the Author:

Jeff Williamson arrived at WSLS 10 in March 2016.