RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Holiday get-togethers will look different this year for our friends, family, and even airports.
Deanna Wood flew into Rapid City from Minneapolis today. She says both airports were very quiet.
“It was sparse. It was sparse here and it was sparse in Minneapolis which I was surprised by. I’d flown before on a Monday morning. I didn’t have to wait at all,” Wood said.
Compared to last year, year-to-date the passenger numbers at the Rapid City Regional Airport are down 47.5%.
“Right now, as far as Thanksgiving week goes, we’re down about 54% from where we were last year. So to put that in perspective for you, we scheduled around 2,900 outbound passengers this week, whereas last year it was around 5,380 so that is significant,” Toni Broom, Deputy Airport Director for Rapid City Regional Airport, said.
That being said, the regional airport’s passenger numbers are still stronger than a lot of other airports.
“We’re feeling optimistic because we have a good strong market and we have stayed ahead of that national average. We do have Mount Rushmore, we are a tourism state, so next year we’re hoping that we do recover,” Broom said.
With a vaccine in the works, airport officials are hopeful that more passengers, like Wood, are able to feel safe traveling to and from South Dakota by plane.
“Feels like, home you know? My son going to school out here gives a lot of excuses to come out,” Wood said.
All passengers and staff are required to wear masks inside the Rapid City Regional Airport.