CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — When people picture Thanksgiving they often think of the endless plates of homecooked meals, however one difficult venture that tends to linger in the minds of many is traveling.
Before the long conversations with family, or smell of desserts residents spend a huge portion of their time packing up their belongings to make long awaited visits.
The rise in holiday travel is nothing new to those working at Corpus Christi International Airport, but Director of Aviation Kevin Smith says they're seeing a rise in passengers compared to last year.
"Last year we were running about a 70% load factor," Smith said. "Which means there were 70% of the seats on every flight were full, this year we're running about a 90% load factor."
Smith added that seeing passengers beginning to book flights again brings a sense of normalcy and confidence.
"We do have a few flights that we didn't have last year, so there's a few more flights than there were last November, so we really feel confident," Smith said.
With Christmas and the New Year approaching Smith knows that the amount of passengers will not decrease for some time, but he has a few procedures in place to make sure everything runs smoothly.
"We've got a holiday plan we put in place for our operations team, for our public safety officers and so we'll mirror what we did for this. I think we'll probably see about the same amount because we're not getting any new flights until March," Smith said.
With more passengers booking flights CCIA said they are continuing with their COVID-19 safety protocols and even going the extra mile to ensure the safety of passengers.
"We got our GBAC certification which is the global biorisk advisory council," Smith said. "And you get accreditation through this organization to show that you're doing every possible step to make sure that the traveling public is safe and secure,"
According to Smith CCIA is one of 44 airports in the country to receive this certification. Smith saying that passenger safety is a top priority when helping those reach their destinations.
"We want to tell the traveling public especially our conventions that come into town the whole city is prepared to keep you safe," Smith said.
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