Passenger, flight numbers down at Peoria International Airport

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Travel through airports is down across the country. On Monday, TSA screened about 164,000 people, compared to nearly 2.5 million people on that day last year.

Peoria International Airport is open, but with less people traveling, there has been a decrease in passengers and flights. Last year, the airport had eight record-breaking months. July 2019 was the busiest month in the airport’s history.

In February, there were about 52,000 travelers through Peoria International Airport. In April, a litle more than 2,000 people. On average, there are now about 12 flights a day compared to 34 a day back in February.

With summer travel months around the corner, Director of Airports Gene Olson thinks the trend will continue.

“It’s not going to be anywhere near record breaking. We’re expecting that travel will slowly come back a little bit but nowhere near normal,” said Olson.

He’s looking forward to when people feel safe enough to travel and passenger and flight numbers begin to bounce back.

“When passengers feel safe, they’re going to start traveling again. We’re trying to keep the word out there about how our custodial crew is almost cleaning the paint off of all the surfaces because they’re so aggressive about keeping things clean. The airlines are being aggressive about keeping the airplanes clean,” said Olson.

Earlier this year, PIA received a nearly $6.2 million CARES Act grant to help cover operational costs.

Olson says the airport has four years to use the money, but estimates it will only last two to two and a half years.

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