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Fewer People Flying in Light of COVID-19
By Easton Sanders
MCCRACKEN COUNTY - Barkley Regional Airport is seeing less traffic as more people implement social distancing.

With more people staying home because of the pandemic, there is less revenue for many businesses, including Barkley Regional Airport. They're seeing less travelers as more people hunker down to avoid COVID-19.

West Kentucky Star spoke with the Marketing Director for Barkley Regional Airport, Eddie Grant, about the effect the virus has had on their business.

Grant says the pandemic has definitely impacted the number of passengers they're used to seeing.

"The flights are still operating as scheduled, but admittedly there are fewer passengers on them than we would like to see compared to what we would normally have this time of year," he said.

This has had an impact on the airport's revenue.

"We have fewer passengers flying and one of our biggest sources of revenue is when people park in our parking lot. We don't get any direct revenue from tickets," said Grant.

The airport has had to be more mindful of where they're spending money as a result.

"We're really tightening our belts like everybody else is having to do." Grant said, "We're fortunate to be able to still operate and still get people who need to travel. But beyond that, we're just doing what we have to do to get by like everybody else."

Even with the impact the pandemic has had, Grant says things are still operating as always.

"We still have a fire department and we still have a police department. A lot of the stuff we do is federally mandated for us to have." He said, "We're just operating with business as usual because that's what we have to do for the industry that we're in."

Grant says they are a vital link to Chicago and the rest of the world, and doesn't expect that to change.

He encourages everyone to support the local businesses throughout the crisis.

"These are your friends and neighbors that work out here, for the airline, the rental car agencies, and those of us that work for the airport." Grant continued, "We just encourage people to support the community, stay safe, follow the guidelines like everybody else, and hopefully we'll be back to flying sooner rather than later."

Published 07:24 PM, Thursday Mar. 26, 2020
Updated 06:43 PM, Friday Mar. 27, 2020

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