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Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport hopes Phase One will bring more passengers

(WDBJ)
Published: May. 14, 2020 at 4:19 PM EDT
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The

had several new plans in the works before the

pandemic hit.

Airport officials said they hit a single-day low last month of only 25 passengers. That number is down from their average of 950 passengers a day. They're hoping with

starting Friday, their numbers will steadily go up.

"We're looking at about 175 passengers heading out of the airport today."

Stay-at-home order or not, people have places to be and the staff at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport isn't complaining, as they've lost over 60 percent of their air capacity within the last month. The pandemic also has put on hold or completely stopped the addition of new carriers or destinations.

Brad Boettcher with the airport said, "We have been talking to American for the last couple of years very seriously about adding Dallas service; I think they were close to adding that so when COVID-19 hit that blew up."

On top of halting growth to the airport, they lost a huge chunk in revenue.

"The taxes on tickets, parking revenue, revenue from the gift shop, revenue from the restaurant," said Boettcher.

As more people start traveling again, they will notice changes made by airlines and the airports.

"It was completely full, you were required to wear a face mask, but it definitely felt uncomfortable to be amongst that many people," said Lauren Faulkner, who was traveling from Los Angeles to Roanoke to visit family.

The airport is following the

's guidelines for travel.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ7. All rights reserved.

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