SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Sioux Falls Regional Airport is seeing an uptick in traffic.
Last month, the airport saw a 25 percent increase in cars parking in the lots compared to January of 2022.
February is also trending upward.
Audrey Brown and her family arrived at the Sioux Falls airport early so they’d have time to find a parking spot.
“It looks full, it really does. Long and short term parking are pretty full,” Traveler Audrey Brown said.
Brown says they got lucky and found a spot pretty quickly, but other travelers may not be so fortunate.
Airport executive director Dan Letellier says long and short term parking lots are usually full.
While there is an economy lot, the airport is heading into a peak travel time.
“As we get into March, very busy month, probably the busiest month for travel and for parking, that middle time frame over spring break, if we continue with the trends we’re seeing we’ll definitely run out of parking,” Letellier said.
That’s why people who live in the area are being encouraged to get a ride to the airport, so those who live farther away have a spot to park.
“Parking revenue is our largest revenue source to operate the airport, so very rarely will you hear airport say, ‘Don’t park here.’ We also don’t want people to come out here, they have no place to park, and they miss their flight,” Lettellier said.
Construction on a parking garage will begin in April, which will help add parking capacity here at the airport.
However, hundreds of spots will be displaced during building.
“That’s going to close off all the short term parking and parts of long term parking, so as we get through this crunch here in February and March, it’s not going to be any better,” Letellier said.
The airport will expand the economy lot this summer, but for for now, it’s best to think ahead like Brown, so you can enjoy your getaway.
“Flying out to warmer temperatures in Phoenix,” Brown said.
If you can’t get a ride to the airport, you are encouraged to arrive two hours before your departure.