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Passenger traffic dips at state’s eight commercial airports

October 4, 2021 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Passenger traffic at North Dakota’s eight commercial airports declined in August after a more robust July.

The state’s top aeronautic official says the drop in traffic isn’t so surprising.

“July is historically one of our busiest months out of the year for air travel, and so it can be expected to see lower passenger numbers heading into the fall as leisure travel begins to slow down,” said Kyle Wanner, the executive director of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission.

A total of 82,371 passengers boarded planes in August, nearly double the same month last year, but well below the 101,784 boardings in August 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic hit, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

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The airports in Bismarck, Minot, Williston, Dickinson, Grand Forks, Fargo, Devils Lake and Jamestown all saw an increase in passengers this August from the previous year. Bismarck’s 19,272 boardings were 77% higher than the same month last year, yet 26% down from pre-pandemic August of 2019.

“Our communities are doing an incredible job in maintaining a high level of air service and we hope to see passenger demand maintain at current levels and then grow, once the holiday season arrives,” Wanner said.

Year-to-date boardings are ahead of the 2020 pace at all eight airports. Statewide, they’re up more than 41%. But they’re down 30% from 2019.