GTR Recovering Slowly But Surely

GOLDEN TRIANGLE REGION, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch The GTR Airport has been seeing a very gradual increase in passenger traffic — from 5~7 passengers daily a couple of weeks ago to 12~15 today. However, their primary client base — business travelers — has yet to begin using their services in earnest thus far. Prior to the pandemic, the airport normally saw over 175 passengers every day.
Executive Director Mike Hainsey said that “The passengers we’re seeing are ones that have to fly to see family,” Hainsey said. “The business community is not traveling yet.” Spring Break was the last time they saw normal flyer numbers. However, they have retained business from a local flight school, a crop-dusting service, medical helicopters, and military training flights. Robin Wynn of Avis/Budget at GTR, mentioned that biweekly rentals got back up to 39 (from 11 prior) for Memorial Day, but that this is still well short of normal.
Hainsey went on to say that GTR has received about $1.2 million in funding via the CARES Act, and that they may receive another $190K from the Federal Government. This would still represent a loss of $300-400K, but it helps to delay the point at which they would have to dip into their reserves just to continue functioning: “Since it is going to take a while to recover, it’ll allow us to still stay in good financial position,” he said. Because of this, they have been able to avoid cutting any staff.

GTR Airport nearly empty
Photo by Theo DeRosa – Dispatch Staff

That being said, they are still careful to maintain sanitization and distancing protocols throughout their facilities, and passengers have noted that many fellow flyers are wearing masks both on and off the planes. “We’ll take the measures required and make sure both the people that travel and also our employees, the people that are working there, are protected and taken care of, too,” Hainsey said.

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