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Airport sees best month since February as second lockdown looms

Rising cases and national airline studies raise questions as to what’s next
Published: Nov. 17, 2020 at 9:19 AM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - As national airlines continue conducting their own studies attempting to prove that flying is inherently safe as it relates to transmitting COVID-19, the Central Nebraska Regional Airport is hopeful that those studies may bring in more revenue after a successful October.

CNRA saw its best month since February come in October, which of course helps the airport’s bottom line, but there’s still plenty of room to make up for the damage done during spring and summer.

“All of this is behind us and we don’t know when that’s going to happen obviously," Mike Olson, the Executive Director of CNRA, said. "We’re getting better but we have a long ways to go to get to even.”

Of course, it’s not necessarily all behind airports as rumblings continue regarding a second lockdown, which would have the potential to set the airport back to where it was in February and March.

Olson saying there isn’t much to comment along those lines as it would all be speculation. As for right now, Olson is seeing more and more people come through CNRA which is good for a handful of people.

More people flying is good for the airport and the airlines, of course, but it also adds parking revenue, helps the restaurant and helps the vendors within the airport.

“What we’ve seen over the last two to three months is an increase in passengers, which is obviously good for us," Olson said. "I think there’s a lot of pent up demand of people wanting and needing to get out so we’re encouraged by that.”

Airports are doing all they can to try and keep flight numbers high, including potential COVID-19 testing for passengers. Olson says he and his staff will take everything that comes their way in stride and that they’re better prepared for another lockdown, should it occur, because of what they learned earlier in 2020.

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