Travel increases at Orlando International Airport the end of spring break nears

ORLANDO, Fla. — The airline industry was hit hard during the pandemic, but things are looking up as people begin to travel again.

It has been busy at Orlando International Airport as the spring break travel period comes to an end.

In fact, airport officials are expecting better passenger numbers than projected over the six weeks of spring break travel.

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On some of the busier days, OIA is seeing more than 60,000 passengers come through the airport, as compared to the end of spring break last year when roughly 3,000 passengers were coming through the airport daily.

Tom Draper, senior director of airport operations, said projections going into spring break were about a 45% increase over last year.

“Oh, we’re having a great spring break; the numbers are up. In fact, last Saturday was the busiest day,” Draper said.

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On Sunday, OIA had 57,927 departing passengers, an increase of 30% over last year.

Across the country, since March 11. the Transportation Security Administration has screened more than a million passengers a day. That’s the first time that has happened over a month long period since before the pandemic.

As airport officials mark the end of spring break travel on Tuesday, there are certainly signs of life at the airport.

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Stores at the airport like “The Neighborhood” are seeing it too.

“But now everything is picking back up now since spring break, so it’s been busy since,” manager of The Neighborhood, Takeya McCoy, said. “Hopefully, it continues to stay busy and won’t slow down, because it made a lot of impact on a lot of businesses.”

Draper believes numbers could plateau partially in May. But based on what he hears from the airlines, he expects this summer to be good for passenger traffic at OIA.

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal,

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

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