Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport sees 19% increase in passenger traffic between September and October

Coronavirus
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ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Ahead of the holiday travel season, the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA) is reporting a 19 percent rebound in passenger traffic between September and October amid the coronavirus pandemic.

More specifically, October 2020 brought 4,124 more passengers to the airport — equivalent to 133 more passengers per day — than September 2020, thus bringing the total number of passengers flying via ROA from 21,659 in September 2020 to 25,783 passengers in October 2020, according to a statement released by the airport on Monday, Nov. 23.

However, ROA says the airport saw a decrease in October 2020 traffic of 62 percent — or 43,734 passengers — on a year-over-year basis, with 25,783 passengers flying via ROA in October 2020 compared to 69,517 in October 2019.

In addition, Monday’s statement says year-to-date passenger traffic as of October 2020 was 59 percent lower than in 2019, with the airport accommodating 243,314 passengers in 2020 compared to 595,101 in 2019.

Nevertheless, despite traffic being down year over year, officials say the passenger traffic has either increased or stayed flat every month since it bottomed out in April.

“We are pleased to see passenger traffic holding steady into the fall,” stated Timothy T. Bradshaw, A.A.E., executive director of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission. “Passengers are more and more comfortable in the measures taken by the air carriers and airports to ensure their safety. We hope traffic grows through the fall and into winter. Lower overall airfare has stimulated demand, and as airlines rebuild their schedules, it is critical to use our current service not only to keep it but also to have more restored and help our economy grow. We continue to appreciate the support of our community, choosing ROA, and not driving out of the market to fly.”

The airport reminds the community that ROA is open and operational to members of the public who need to fly. In addition, Monday’s statement says the airport and the airlines have implemented enhanced cleaning protocols in order to make air travel as safe as possible amid the pandemic.

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