Basin Business: Air travel picks up at local airport

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More people are starting fly in and out of Midland International Air and Space Port.

“The planes, at least in the last couple months, have been a lot more packed,” says traveler Sydney Power.”

“I’ve seen the flights pickup considerably in the last 60 days,” says flyer Reid Scofield.

After air travel was down 80% in the height of the pandemic, MAF is halfway back to normal.

“We’re about 50 percent as we were same time last year,” says Justine Ruff, director of airports at MAF. “The national average is 60% below, so we’re a little bit ahead.”

Ruff says frequency of flights dropped during the pandemic, but it will pick back up soon if COVID-19 cases keep dropping.

“The airlines are talking about adding more flights in as necessary,” says Ruff. “Probably in the summer we should notice a difference.”

Ruff also says no destinations were removed during the pandemic. MAF has still has flights to Dallas, Houston, Denver, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

But what about adding new destinations?

“No plans right now to add any destinations during the pandemic,” says Ruff.

Passengers we talked to are hoping that’ll change.

This airport needs more non-stops,” says Scofield. “St. Louis, Kansas City would be another.”

The airport has some projects in the work currently. The parking lot is getting expanded, four of the five jet bridges have been replaced, and the bathrooms are getting redone soon.

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April 22 2021 09:00 am