Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport sees a slowdown in travel traffic

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — New data out from the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport saw a decrease in air travel for September versus August.

According to the traffic data, 44,824 passengers flew via ROA in September compared to 45,726 passengers in August. On a day-to-day comparison, that’s 30 fewer passengers flying. The airport states that less leisure travel and the spread of the delta variant of COVID caused less traffic.

“People still want to get out and travel. They are comfortable with the measures taken by airports and
airlines to ensure their safety,” said Mike Stewart, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Airport
Commission. “Due to the start of school and the Delta variant, we saw traffic slow in September but this
was to be expected and shouldn’t impact travel overall in the near term. As this variant subsides, and
airlines rebuild their schedules, it is critical to use our current service not only to keep it but also to have
more added back and help our regional economy recover. Air service will be even more important when
our business customers return to the sky. We continue to appreciate the community support for choosing
ROA.”

However, looking at the data from September 2019 compared to September 2021 there was a 25.6 percent decrease, but year-over-year there was a 106.9 percent increase in traffic. ROA reported 44,824 passengers in September 2021 compared to 60,253 passengers in September 2019. That is a 15,429 passenger decrease from pre-pandemic traffic levels.

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