COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — New numbers released this week suggest that travel at the Colorado Springs Airport is beginning to rebound. The number of passengers jumped from 10,460 people in June to 26,696 in July, a 155 percent increase.
While the overall passenger traffic for the year is about half of what it was at this point in 2019, marketing and communications manager Aidan Ryan sees the recent growth as a sign that people are feeling more comfortable flying.
"Airports are a little bit more open, there's more seating in the aircraft and so it's a great time to travel if you are comfortable doing so," she said.
Todd and Stevie Samples of Coaldale had to book a last-minute flight to Oregon because of a family emergency and said the price of airfare was surprising.
"We just made our reservations yesterday, but I was pleasantly surprised at the prices and the availability," Todd said.
Stevie added that checking in was a breeze.
"There was no hectic-ness," she said. "We pulled right up to the door, they let us out, we came in and it was easy."
There are still signs of the COVID impact on the airport. The stores and restaurants on the public side of the airport, before the TSA checkpoint, remain closed. The airport has also suspended its shuttle service from long-term parking.
Ryan said many of the direct flights offered by the airlines have started to return with the recent growth in passenger traffic.
"We have brought back 7 of our 10 destinations with our four carriers," Ryan said. "We are still waiting for three of our scheduled routes to be added back onto our schedule, but we are helpful that by the end of the year those three will come back or shortly into 2021."
The airport and the airlines are taking extra precautions to protect public health during the pandemic. Mask wearing is mandatory and airport employees have daily temperature screenings.
The airlines have their own social distancing requirements for passengers. So, Ryan recommends that customers check with their airline ahead of time so they know what to expect.