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Lincoln Airport starts to regain passengers

Published: Sep. 21, 2020 at 9:52 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Like many places, the pandemic has taken a toll on the Lincoln Airport as many continue to avoid travel.

At its worst point, the airport said it was seeing three to eight passengers a day and while those numbers aren’t back up to where they were pre-COVID they are showing improvement.

When the pandemic first hit the airport monthly numbers fell fast from more than 24,000 in February to just 705 in April or about 20 per day. A 97% decrease.

“We’re back up to about 100 and then we did add a flight back a few weeks ago,” said Rachel Barth with the Lincoln Airport Authority. “Now we have three flights to Chicago and one to Denver.”

In July of last year, the Lincoln Airport saw just shy of 30,000 passengers.

In that same month of 2020, that number was about 5,400 about an 80% drop.

While the differences are stark the passenger numbers have been on an upward trend.

“Long term were sustained pretty well with the airport we have no only the commercial and general aviation we also have 5,000 acres of tenants that do pay rent to us,” said Barth.

The Lincoln Airport also estimated it’s losing about $240,000 a month due to COVID-19. A $5.6 million federal grant is helping them supplement but future budgets will likely reflect the losses.

“About as conservative as you possibly could be,” said Barth. “More of about a 10% revenue instead of what we would normally be looking forward to with the pandemic.”

Another project that’s helping, the airport will soon be the temporary home for the 55th Wing out of Offutt.

The airmen, airwomen, and aircraft are expected in February and the Airport Authority will get 15% of what’s spent.

Copyright 2020 KOLN. All rights reserved.

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