SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)- Syracuse Hancock International Airport has experienced a significant increase in travelers this week due to the local school district spring break, and the number of passengers to board flights from last Friday to this Wednesday is 103% higher than last year, according to a release from the airport.
The executive director of the SYR, Jason Terreri, said it is the busiest year in three decades.
“In 2019 was our busiest year, so we’re on track to match 2019 this year, maybe a little bit more. The previous two years because of COVID, our numbers were low, but we were expecting this traffic because we do get our forecasts from the airline, so this was an expectation that we would be very busy this week,” Terreri said.
The airport also added parking spaces from its employee lot for extra travelers and provided temporary staging areas for workers to accommodate the increased demand for parking. Until now, the overflow in the parking deck still has available spots for passengers.
“So we haven’t had used that lot yet. That lot is just as a contingency that in the event that we don’t have enough parking at the airport, we would move our employees over there. It’s probably going to be about just a few days to open up additional passengers parking, so that everybody has a smooth and easy experience to the airport,” Terreri said.
Terreri also said the reason of this surge is not only due to the break, but also because of the long-time pandemic.
“So first off, is the pandemic is moving behind us. People are back traveling again. This is also the busiest travel week for Syracuse because of the spring break traveling. So, it’s combination of those two factors,” he said.
Katherine Reale, a traveler who plans to go to Florida with her family and departs from SYR this Wednesday, said she doesn’t worry about the pandemic because she was fully vaccinated and got the booster before.
“I just feel that everyone is trying to catch break, and just get away from everything, because everything has been opening up from COVID recently,” she said.
Terreri said they prepared this peak travel period weeks in advance, including adding more staff in certain departments, working with their partners and airlines to ensure there are plenty of foods and drinks. More information on regular parking updates will be available on airport’s official Facebook and Twitter page.