RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Airports across the country took a major hit during the global pandemic. However, the Rapid City Regional Airport is starting to see a steady increase in passenger numbers.
Since the month of May, the Rapid City Regional Airport has seen an upward trend in passenger numbers of about 3 to 5 percent each week. Compared to national airport passenger numbers, Rapid City has stayed about 5 percent ahead. While their numbers are still down, the airport is doing better than before.
“We’re still very low, we’re not where we want to be, but we are encouraged,” Toni Broom said.
Passengers, like Kimberly Long from New Jersey, are visiting the Black Hills to ride.
“This is our third summer, rent a bike, see Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, all the beautiful sights. This is the best state to ride in,” Long said.
With the Sturgis Rally coming up, Toni Broom with the airport administration says semi-trucks that hold about 30 motorcycles are booked during rally week in August.
“Normally we will see anywhere from 5 to 10 trucks pulling bikes in. The last year we had a significant rally was the 75th and that year we had 15 rally trucks. Well this year we learned that we have 11 rally trucks coming this year so that’s really encouraging news,” Broom said.
The airport is taking some health precautions by offering hand sanitizing stations and extra signs. They do not require people to wear masks.
“We just ask people to please be responsible when they travel,” Broom said.
“I sanitized my own section and I did wear my own mask, I took all the precautions and yeah, I feel fine,” Long said.
The Rapid City Regional Airport will have passenger numbers for June in the next few weeks.