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Holiday airport traffic down this year, amid the global pandemic

Published: Jul. 3, 2020 at 9:22 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 3, 2020 at 9:59 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG) - As Florida reopens, more people are flying to the beaches.

“Most airports I came to this weekend were full,” said frequent flyer Nathan Andrews. “The economy looks like its rebounding, and everyone’s a lot less scared to travel.”

Andrews said he’s seen more people take to the skies in recent weeks compared to a few months ago when coronavirus concerns started.

“When the pandemic first hit,” Andrews said, “I was the only person on the plane flying back to Ohio, and now we’ve got full planes.”

Fourth of July weekend is normally the start of the busy summer season for Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, according to Executive Director Parker McClellan.

“The Fourth of July is down a little bit obviously with everything going on in the world today,” McClellan said, “and our numbers are down a little bit.”

However, McClellan believes increased visitors in recent weeks could be because restrictions on short term rentals have been lifted, and beaches have reopened.

“We’re looking forward to a pretty strong Fourth of July weekend knowing that everything that’s going on in the world and everyone wanting to celebrate the independence of our country.”

The airport is being cleaned frequently, and people are encouraged to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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