Passenger Traffic Continues Upward Trend at BHM
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (October 28, 2020) Passenger traffic at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) continues to grow on a slow but steady, upward trend. In September, there were 47,744 enplanements, a decrease of 61% from September 2019. The total passenger count of arrivals and departures was 94,917 compared to 246,252 in September 2019. Total operations for September were 53% lower than last year and approximately 44% lower for the calendar year. Passenger traffic year-to-date is down 59%, however, is trending upwards after plunging nearly 95% in April due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“We are encouraged as we see more passengers in the terminal,” said Ronald F. Mathieu, Birmingham Airport Authority President and CEO. “We are continuing to maintain enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols to promote a healthy and safe environment for travel. We are pleased to see that travelers have confidence in us to keep them save on their journey.”
Passenger traffic across the United States is down approximately 65% from this time last year as air service across the country continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Over the past months, BHM’s passenger traffic activity has been in line or slightly higher than the national growth trend.
Daily flights at BHM decreased in September as the month is typically a slower period across the industry as it falls between the summer and holiday travel periods. Flight schedules for the upcoming holiday travel period are still being finalized; however, the airlines are expected to add more flight frequencies and reinstate more nonstop service during this time. In November, Southwest plans to add back nonstop service on peak travel days to Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas, and Tampa. Southwest also recently launched new nonstop service to Denver.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, BHM has deployed enhanced cleaning protocols and upgraded its disinfecting and cleaning solutions to instill confidence and offer peace of mind for travelers.
The airlines have implemented several changes to their operations to ensure passenger safety such as limiting seats sold to allow for physical distancing, cleaning all high-touch areas between every flight, and requiring passengers and employees to wear face coverings. High-Efficiency Particle Filter (HEPA) filtration systems are also being used to clean air of contaminants and bacteria, refreshing cabin air every few minutes.
TSA has also implemented several changes to its security screening process at checkpoints nationwide to reduce the potential for cross-contamination in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
About Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport
As Alabama’s largest commercial airport serving nearly 3 million passengers in 2019, Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport has served as a gateway to the sky for more than 85 years. Governed by the Birmingham Airport Authority, the airport continues to be a catalyst for growth and economic development for the entire region. For more information, visit flybirmingham.com or follow BHM on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.