FD airport experiences decrease in passengers amid pandemic
16 Apr 2020
The airplanes are still landing and taking off from the Fort Dodge Regional Airport — even after a statewide public health disaster was declared in March due to the threat of COVID-19.
But the number of passengers aboard those flights has significantly decreased, according to Rhonda Chambers, director of aviation at the airport.
Coming into March, the number of booked flights was anticipated to be 14% more than what it was in March 2019.
The virus took all that away and then some, though.
Vacation plans fell through. Business conferences were rescheduled.
And after all of the cancellations, the airport’s boardings ended up decreasing by 45% compared to the same time period in 2019.
“Based on current passengers booked for April and May, I think that decrease will continue,” Chambers said. “Nobody is booking tickets and understandably so.”
The drop in ridership numbers is being experienced across the aviation industry.
The Transportation Security Administration reported that on April 2, 2019, about 2.4 million passengers went through U.S. TSA airport gates. On April 2, 2020, 123,021 passengers were screened by TSA.
The airport is considered essential and will remain open.