Fresno airport sees busiest week since pandemic began

AAA's travel forecast suggests as many as 84.5 million Americans will travel from December 23 through January 3.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Despite health officials urging people to stay home this holiday season, travel is picking up as we head into 2021.

Year-end holiday travel in the U.S. may be down 29%, but the roads and skies are seeing the most passengers they've had since the onset of the pandemic.

Fresno Yosemite International Airport officials say this is their busiest week of the last nine months, seeing 70% of the passenger numbers they saw last year at this time.

Vikkie Calderon, Fresno Yosemite International Public Relations Specialist, says, "We are one of the leading airports in the nation in terms of passenger recovery."

COVID-19 prompted changes for travel, and not just when it comes to itineraries.

In addition to reminding people to check their flight status before arriving, the airport has placed social distancing signage and installed sanitizing stations.

Calderon adds, "Passengers traveling this holiday will see a lot of safety measures that have been implemented to protect their health as well as the health of the airport community."

Nationwide, Wednesday marked the third busiest day of airport travel since the pandemic began as more than 1.1 million Americans took to the skies.

The Transportation Security Administration said it was the 5th day in a row that a million-plus travelers were screened. The lowest point in the pandemic was April 14th with about 87,000 people flying that day.

AAA's travel forecast suggests as many as 84.5 million Americans will travel from December 23 through January 3.

Road trips account for 96% of that activity.

California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Salas says "We're going to be out there enforcing and making sure everyone is out there making it to their destination as safely as possible."

The California Highway Patrol is ramping up enforcement as the Central Valley gets ready to ring in the new year.

Officer Salas adds, "Don't end 2020 with one of your biggest mistakes - getting arrested for DUI."

CHP's maximum enforcement will be from 6 pm Thursday night through Sunday.
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