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Pandemic air travel continues to hit new records, nationally and locally

Published: Mar. 21, 2021 at 9:13 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Pandemic air travel throughout the country continues to grow daily as many people are flying for spring break. According to the Transportation Security Administration, this past Friday, a record-breaking number of people took to the air with more than 1.4 million people flying. TSA also says more than a million people have flown each day for the past week and a half. Experts say we’ve seen a surge in numbers because some schools are on spring break, as this is one of the most popular times to travel.

Officials with Austin Straubel International Airport say it has been a busy week for them as well, and they’re finally seeing their numbers get back to those pre-covid levels. The Austin Straubel Airport Director, Marty Piette, says they are well above the numbers they saw when COVID-19 first hit. When there were times they would only see about one-to-two hundred people per day.

“We have some preliminary indications of how many people will be traveling over the next week and we’re seeing our numbers, and these are numbers of passengers that are being screened at the checkpoint and those numbers are approaching 1,000 per day. And those are essentially at pre-COVID levels we would see typically 1,000 people per day,” Piette said.

Officials at Austin Straubel implemented a new cleanliness campaign last year called “Flying GRB Means Clean.” It was started to make sure passengers felt as safe as possible while flying during the pandemic.

“That includes disinfecting and UVC light sterilization, air purification, the TSA, the airlines, all of our stakeholders as well have really taken it up many levels from a cleanliness standpoint so we’ve done everything that we can to make sure that passengers are comfortable, and if they’re not comfortable flying then we’ll be here and ready for them when they are,” Piette explained.

Officials say they expect to see the continued surge in travelers as more schools go on spring break.

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