PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) —The COVID-19 pandemic is causing financial problems across the country, especially for the travel industry.
Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport is seeing those effects as well. Airport leaders say they are seeing a decrease in both business and passengers.
“Flights are down, and passengers are down as much as 95%,” said Airport Board Chairman, Del Lee.
Luckily, they were able to maintain their course despite the disruptions.
“We are having a pretty severe impact. Fortunately we are financially in a good position. We have a good cash reserve. I think it’s going to help us weather that. And we’ve had federal assistance,” said Lee.
However, airport officials have recently seen an increase in business since short term and vacation rentals have opened, in addition to a boost from the Memorial Day Weekend.
“There are a lot of people traveling now. We see a lot of drive-in traffic, there was an uptick in flights,” said Lee.
He added that airport employees are doing their part to keep people safe.
“Maintaining social distancing, keeping the airport clean and just getting word out that we are open and available for anybody that wants to come down here,” said Lee.
Airport staff wants to remind people traveling through the airport to still follow the proper safety protocols and social distancing guidelines.