Passenger boardings in North Dakota airports down for 2nd straight month

Local News

Passenger boardings in September across North Dakota were down for a second straight month, but experts say there is no need to panic.

Kyle Wanner of the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission says labor shortages, which have been affecting the industry long before the pandemic, are impacting airports — particularly in the western half of the state.

However, other factors such as the Canadian border closure and the decline in oil production, are also to blame.

September is normally a slower month in between summer and holiday travel.

Wanner said he hopes travel will pick back up during the holidays, and he’d like to see more job openings being filled in the near future.

“COVID-19 kind of exasperated that because we saw even more retirements and more individuals just not coming back into aviation after there was that downturn in the early stages of the pandemic. But now that the industry is recovering, there’s all these challenges,” said Wanner.

Since the national decline in the industry due to the pandemic, North Dakota has not yet fallen below the national average for passenger boardings.

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