PUNTA GORDA — The rate of declining passenger traffic at Punta Gorda Airport in Charlotte County is reversing, as more passengers begin to travel again from steeper drops in March, April and May.
Passenger count for June totaled 93,767 people, with 47,846 departing passengers and 45,921 arriving passengers, according to a statement from the Charlotte County Airport Authority. That’s down 30% from June 2019’s passenger numbers, and planes were an average of 72% full, the release adds. The airport’s dominant air carrier is low-cost airline Allegiant.
“PGD’s passenger count continues to improve, demonstrating significant confidence in Allegiant as more consumers resume air travel to and from Punta Gorda,” says Airport Authority Board Chair Pam Seay in a statement. “Airport management has worked quickly to incorporate an enhanced culture of health and safety since grappling with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a sharp decline in air travel worldwide in March and April,” Seay said.
Private air charter and general aviation traffic also rebounded in June. Air traffic control data shows the number of takeoffs and landings, including Allegiant flights, general aviation traffic and military and air taxi operations, total 5,787 in June, down 6% from June 2019.
On July 2, Allegiant implemented a face-covering requirement for all passengers and crewmembers while traveling and including at the airport. There is also reduced exposure during PGD’s open-air boarding process, the statement says, which also allows for adequate social distancing amongst passengers. In addition, the Airport Authority has implemented stringent sanitation and cleaning protocols at the terminal, and Allegiant on its aircraft, to further reduce risk of exposure.