BACK IN FLIGHT: Columbia airport serving more passengers this holiday season

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Last year saw limited holiday travel, but this year now that a vaccine is available, more are taking to the skies.

Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) is one of those seeing an increase in passengers.

“We’ve seen a steady increase in passenger traffic throughout the year,” said Kim J. Crafton, CAE marketing director.

Crafton says that airport traffic has nearly doubled since this time last year.

“People just need to know that masks are required not just only in the airport but also on all of the flights as well,” she said.

These precautions are why DHEC epidemiologist Dr. Jane Kelly believes flying is a low risk activity.

“Flying on an airplane does not look very risky because the airlines have been really good about making sure everyone wears a mask,” Dr. Kelly said. “We’re not seeing a bunch of outbreaks associated with flights. What’s more important is what you do before you get on that plane and when you get off that plane.”

Wednesday, passengers were flying out of Columbia as well as into Soda City.

“My partner and I are flying in from Denver. We’re spending some time in South Carolina with my family and then we’re going to Georgia to spend time with her family,” said Ezraa Douglas, flying into CAE.

Everyone we spoke to at the airport advised arriving early due to longer than usual lines in Columbia and across the country.

“I had not seen the lines as long as they were in Denver,” Douglas said. “We moved pretty quickly but it was definitely slower than usual.”

Even with the longer lines, the airport serving the Midlands has not seen cancellations of flights as other parts of the country have.

“Right now Columbia Metropolitan Airport, as well as the airlines that serve CAE, have not seen a shortage like we have seen nationwide. Travelers can rest assured knowing they will be able to make it to their next destination,” Crafton said.

Categories: Local News, Richland